“Drones are shaping the way business is done across a variety of sectors,” says Vera Nagtegaal, the executive head of online comparison website Hippo.co.za. “The insurance industry is no exception, with some insurance companies having already started to use drones to assess damages and claims.”
Nagtegaal says insurers have been experimenting with drones for about five years.
Old Mutual iWYZE passed the operational audit and demonstration flights required by the South African Civil Aviation Authority and is in the process of obtaining its remotely piloted aircraft licence. Once complete, the drones will be used in the assessment of car accidents.
“Drones are also extremely helpful for property insurance assessments in hard-to-reach places like roofs, as well as large structures like warehouses, office buildings or commercial boilers, which can be several storeys high,” says Nagtegaal. “They can also assist with inspections of damage in the wake of disasters like earthquakes or flooding.”