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Will your insurance company "drone on" about your claim?

No, we don't mean they will talk with great and often boring detail about the types of coverage they offer or how your claim does or does not meet the requirements. No, after Hurricane Matthew, some insurance companies have begun to use actual drones that will fly over damaged properties and will be used to assess the damage.

The insurance companies, as is typical, presume this will "help customers recover from losses more quickly because it expedites inspections, payments and repairs." On its face, it sounds good, as a drone certainly could cover much more territory than a claims adjuster or inspector who has to drive down a street with damaged homes, locate the correct property and then climb up on theĀ damaged property.

They note it will help protect their employees from injury, as they will not have to climb up on roofs or around damaged trees, which is likely to also be true. But it is also true that in every claim, an insurer is in a conflicted position.

While they are bound by contract to provide compensation for every covered claim, they also have a strong incentive to find any evidence during the claims process that would permit them to deny coverage.

With drones, there is the additional risk that the entire process is new for the insurance company. No one has any experience using drones for claims processing and coverage, so it will be important for you to be very careful if you learn that a drone has been used to assess part or all of your damage.

Their operators will be new and there is always the potential for mistakes or errors to work into the process. As with every dealing with your insurance company, you can trust, but you should always verify.

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