In early 2014 the first commercially available drone debuted in the consumer market. From the very beginning demand was phenomenal as both professionals and consumers (prosumers) found creative ways to use this new technology. Some of those early adopters were from the insurance industry, including insurers who saw an opportunity for faster claims processing, increased accuracy, and cost reductions. Insurance company staff might point to another valuable benefit of drone usage: safety.

Before drones were commercially available, claims adjusters used ladders and aerial or boom lifts to access roofs and exteriors. These methods were effective but not without drawbacks: the inherent risk in having personnel on roofs; at least two people are required to operate a lift safely; the need for stable, flat ground; height limitations; and both ladders and lifts require storage and transportation to remote locations. Lifts also have substantial associated costs such as fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

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