State Farm has received permission from the FAA to test drones, also referred to as unmanned aircraft systems, for commercial use. The permission offers the insurer the opportunity to research drones and potentially deploy them in ways that could benefit customers. State Farm said it plans potentially to use drones to assess roof damage during claims processes and to respond to natural disasters.

See also: Insurers Step Up for Drone Pilots Unwilling to Wait on FAA Rules

"The potential use of UAS provides us one more innovative tool to help State Farm customers recover from the unexpected as quickly and efficiently as possible," said Wensley Herbert, operations VP, claims. "We will continue to provide the same personal, good neighbor service State Farm is recognized for, with assistance from these high-tech devices."

State Farm said it plans to move forward with test and development flights, which will be conducted at private test sites near Bloomington, Illinois, area. Test flights eventually could evolve to testing in real-world scenarios.

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