“Drones are making their way off the battlefield and into the mainstream for commercial applications. After a years-long blanket ban on drones for commercial usage, the Federal Aviation Administration in late March awarded 48 waivers for commercial drone use and established an interim policy to accelerate authorizations. State Farm and AIG became the first insurers authorized by the FAA to test and research drones in March, and USAA became the third in April.” Since then, Erie Insurance has announced the use of drones “as a way to mitigate the current safety challenges for our adjusters who at times can be at risk for accidents or injuries” and to make the claims adjusting process more efficient.
In April, Zurich Canada announced that it had launched a drone insurance product. It’s fantastic to see Canadian insurers getting involved early in the game. More insurers will be introducing such coverage as usage expands. According to a Munich Re survey, drone use could soon become common practice for 40% of businesses.
In May, the FAA announced that it is partnering with industry to explore the next steps in drone operations.
In a world-first, researchers have developed a method to allow for drones to recharge in mid-air. This represents a potential game changer for this emerging industry.