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Adaptive Inspection: Hurricane Season

 2017, hurricane Harvey and Irma hit the US coast with winds exceeding 130 miles per hour, leaving in its wake 103 people dead and an estimated damage of $200 billion.  The double whammy within 2 months of each other and the severity of the hurricanes is expected to slow US GDP by 1%.

In Florida alone, the total insured losses were estimated at more than $5.8 billion, with more than 689,000 residential property claims and 51,396 commercial property claims due to Hurricane Irma. Insurance companies were inundated with claims and scrambled to process the claims submitted by their customers. The frenzy was aggravated by the fact that Hurricane Harvey had hit Texas less than 3 weeks before Hurricane Irma hit Florida.

One of the greatest challenges that Insurers faced during the 2017 hurricane season was the shortage of adjusters. The first step for insurers to process claims was to have the adjusters visually assess the damage and estimate the loss. Unfortunately, most of the adjuster were in Texas assessing damage due to Hurricane Harvey leading to a shortage of adjusters in Florida and an increase in adjuster prices in the range of 15% to 25%. The shortage was only amplified by the lack of access and safety concerns.

Adaptive Inspection technologies which combine the capabilities of artificial intelligence in the form of computer vision and image analytics, and edge computing enable insurance companies to leverage autonomous agents such as drones to inspect property claims more efficiently and effectively. Drones are capable of flying closer to structures to capture miniscule details through high resolution images providing a more thorough report than humans adjusters while reducing the time from 1 hour to 15 minutes. Edge computing capabilities enable the drones to avoid obstacles, reach the location and provide images for the image analytics to analyse, estimate damage and create coverage reports.

his process lays redundant the erstwhile paper based process resulting in errors, and speeds up the claims process while preventing adjuster injuries. The technology can also be used to assess property damage in calamity affected areas before receiving claim requests in order to speed the process and prevent consumer grief.

Companies like USAA, AIG and Allstate have already deployed drones to enable adjusters to view hard to reach areas from a safe location and analyse the images. The technology has rapidly matured over the years and stands to change the way adjusters and insurance companies assess claims while changing the way organizations all over the world inspect their physical assets.


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