Insurance adjusters must strike a delicate balance when it comes to evaluating crop damage. To avoid a contentious relationship with a farmer, adjusters often overestimate damage caused by weather events - which results in a higher payout. On the flip side, if the adjuster estimates too low, the farmer might be upset or feel scammed, which could lead to a lost customer. In an industry where tips and tricks are frequently spread by word-of-mouth, this can be damaging to a business. Drone technology can work as a mediation tool in these situations by providing unbiased, precise data to both parties, ensuring an accurate loss adjustment.
Challenges in Insurance
Traditional surveying practices are no longer practical in the agriculture industry. With the average crop being 10 feet high and the area spanning the length of a football field, it’s nearly impossible to garner an exact measurement. Not only this, but the amount of time spent scouting is significant, which is a detriment to adjusters wanting to maximize the number of fields and clients visited per day. Overall, the goal is the same: both the farmer and adjuster want a fair, accurate payout.
The DroneDeploy Workflow
Using DroneDeploy, this process is broadly simplified. Rather than relying on expensive aircraft or an inaccurate measurement produced by “eyeballing,” an exact figure is reported with little work done by the adjuster. Additionally, DroneDeploy has features tailored explicitly to agriculture professionals that will aid in the inspection process for insurance adjusters.
One such feature is the Plant Health Live Map. In real-time, users can evaluate damage at the field’s edge and receive results of the flight immediately. Furthermore, with advanced plant health features, the user can create zones to separate damaged crops from healthy ones quickly. In the photo to the left, the red area represents 51 acres of hail damage, a process that would typically take hours to survey manually, without a guarantee of accuracy.
DroneDeploy can also process multispectral datasets if using you’re flying with multispectral cameras. Automatically, the correct band order and algorithm is applied for on-the-mark, calibrated plant health analysis. With Annotations, the exact acreage of the affected area is quantified with tools like volume, area, distance, and count, and can be shared remotely. Additionally, this can all be compiled into an Annotation Report, which will list all measurements, images, and annotations made in PDF format. We’ve often seen this used as the deliverable in adjustment reports.
DroneDeploy has numerous customers in agriculture insurance, with one of the most notable being the Great American Insurance Company (GAIC). A 150-year-old insurance company recognized as a top 5 provider in the crop insurance market, GAIC uses DroneDeploy as an easy risk management tool and damage evaluator. Realizing in 2016 that adjusters needed an aerial view of their farms, the program has since expanded to 4 drones and 4 active pilots. GAIC is currently saving dozens of on-site hours and improving customer relations by employing drone technology.
Looking for more information? Watch our webinar on getting started with drones in agriculture.