As they move from theoretical use cases into the testing phase, insurance companies are witnessing the impact unmanned aircraft systems will have on claims and underwriting processes quickly. Allstate, State Farm, USAA and other insurers foresee drones as a means for roof inspection and scene investigation after catastrophic events, such as hailstorms or wildfires. This will result in expedited claims estimates for customers and time saved on manual inspections of damaged property, industry leaders say.

The industry’s use of small unmanned aircraft systems is not without restrictions, however. Complying with regulations set by the Federal Aviation Administration is proving to be carriers’ biggest challenge. Yet, the drone market is booming. According to the FAA’s latest forecast, there could be as many as 7 million small drones flying in national airspace by 2020. Total sales of drones will also increase from $2.5 million to $7 million in the same period with commercial purchases accounting for $2.7 million of that total.

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