In a bold move to advance faster than their rivals, financial giant USAA is now working on using flying drones to fast-track insurance claims.
The company has just asked the FAA for permission to use unmanned drone aircraft to survey accident sites, if approved, it would make them the first insurance company to fly to disaster insurance claims at a moment’s notice.
The exemption they are seeking would initially only allow for independent testing of small drones that could be deployed to natural disasters. Their testing would take place at USAA’s headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, and privately owned land in the area.
Since making drones illegal without a permit, the FAA has only allowed a small number of permits for movie production and other commercial uses so far. The FAA must now respond to USAA’s application within 120 days by law.
If USAA is approved by the FAA, it could lead to significant changes in how all insurance companies respond to claims. USAA would plan on continuing to use in-person inspections, with the drones being used primarily for areal imagery.
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