In the face of ever-changing times, RSA is committed to adapting to new challenges. The events of this year have made it critical for us to expedite our innovation plans to set brokers up with the tools they need to succeed. Enter drone technology with its potential to revolutionize the traditional claims process.
What is drone technology?
Drones are unpiloted aircrafts that are operated from the ground. While they can vary in size, they’re most commonly known as being relatively small, making them an ideal tool for accessing hard to reach or dangerous areas.
In the insurance world, drone technology is often used to capture aerial images of damage without the need for an in-person manual inspection. The images captured are then used to create an estimate for the insured within a short window of time - it takes less than 24 hours to deploy a drone to a loss site, and a total of 72 hours for the imagery to be complete and verified to create an estimate.
A soaring advantage
Efficiency and improved accuracy are two of the main benefits of utilizing drone technology for insurers.
CAT-prone areas can be notoriously difficult to access. Rather than having an adjuster visit a precarious site in person, a drone can be quickly deployed to the area and collect the data and/or images necessary to create an estimate. Additionally, the speed at which a drone is able to assess an entire area helps with overall efficiency.
Accuracy is also a crucial aspect of the claims process; a more accurate assessment can make a big difference in the estimate an insured receives. Images collected by drone technology help to ensure greater accuracy, especially for areas that are remote.
“There are many benefits to incorporating drone technology, all which help the insured receive a quicker and more accurate assessment. With social distancing continuing to be top of mind for many, it also helps to protect the safety of our adjusters while making the claims process more efficient overall,” says Mican.
RSA’s claims process set to take flight
In June 2020, the Property Claims team at RSA Canada began piloting EagleView drone-based inspection technology to assess exterior damage to property losses, with a goal of increased ease, efficiency, and efficacy within the claims process. As Karen Mican, SVP, Claims & Chief Claims Officer, says, “there has never been a more exciting time to be in claims.”
CAT-prone areas, including Alberta and Ontario, will be a focal point for where RSA utilizes drone technology. While it can be used in varying settings, the benefits of utilizing drone technology in these areas are great.
“Our hope is that drone inspections will help remove some of the touchpoints that brokers may need to have throughout the claims process. This will also allow them to focus more on their relationships with their customers while ensuring that the customer has as positive of a claims experience as possible,” says Karen. “We’re confident that the increased technology and analytics collected from drones will benefit both our brokers and customers.”
A piece of the bigger puzzle
While drone technology is still in a pilot phase, initial data points such as customer experience, cycle time, and the quality of the estimate when compared to claims without drone technology, will be analyzed to determine if drones will become a permanent fixture in the claims process.
“As things continue to shift more digitally, I see drone technology being adopted more broadly across North America,” says Mican. “Bringing on this technology, along with the other elements of RSA’s digital journey, will keep us competitive amongst other carriers.”
Drone technology, alongside other digital tools, such as Claims Point or Claims Chat, are being deployed by RSA to improve the claims experience.
“Claims Point is our core technology,” notes Mican. “It’s an online portal where brokers can submit their customers’ personal insurance claims. It’s streamlined, easy to use, and can be accessed on any device at any time. Here brokers can find pre-loaded policy information, supporting documents of claims can be easily uploaded, a claim number is automatically assigned, and then an adjustor is automatically assigned within one business day of the claim being submitted.”
While Claims Chat is not yet available, brokers and customers will be able to access the tool within a month. This exciting new chat option will provide immediate support for questions from our staff and will soon us AI technology to supplement that by providing customers with quick answers to questions relating to third party administrator enquiries, rental extensions, general coverage questions, and more.
“We’re excited and we’re innovating. We’ve been on this digital roadmap for a while and will only keep moving forward.”