April 3, 2024

Hastings Mutual Insurance Company and EagleView Assess™: A Case Study for Successful Drone-Based Roof Claims

Drone-Based Roof Claims

The Challenges

How does an insurance carrier take flight with new technology to upgrade their property claims inspection process with goals of:

  1. Delivering more consistency in the damage assessment reports that adjusters develop
  2. Improving safety (and lowering their workers comp liability costs) by keeping their adjuster employees from climbing roofs
  3. Reducing costs by eliminating ladder assist visits and the related costly schedule coordination – both in time and customer satisfaction – that comes with hiring these additional, external resources
  4. Deliver an improved overall customer and employee experience to help transform one of the tougher, but one of the most critically necessary, functions in the property insurance lifecycle

Hastings Mutual Insurance Company, headquartered in Hastings, MI, and serving 6 upper midwestern states,  faced these exact challenges when EagleView approached Karl Mayer, Hastings’ Claims Director , with an opportunity.

Why should you use drone-based technology in your day-to-day insurance operations?

EagleView offered Hastings an opportunity to trial EagleView Assess™, its fully-autonomous, drone-based, roof inspection solution, to help address some of the business challenges Hastings was trying to solve in its claims operations.   

The EagleView team worked with Hastings to implement 4 drones which included assisting in navigation of the FAA Part 107 Commercial Drone Operator’s licensing, a requirement in the United States for each of Hastings’ 4 adjusters.

Drone technology can also effectively be used by Underwriters and Risk Management professionals to quickly ascertain the property’s current condition ahead of binding or to develop a more accurate total risk profile of the property.

Eliminating the risk of dangerous falls is a significant benefit of using drones to conduct roof inspections. Year-to-year, it’s an unfortunate reality that falls from roofs pose potentially debilitating or even fatal injuries to claims adjusters and property inspectors. Falls that can easily be avoided by conducting ground-based roof inspections using drone technology.

Consistency of Analyses

Hastings relied on EagleView Assess™ and it’s built in artificial intelligence that delivered consistent output from roof inspection to roof inspection. Using fully autonomous flight to scan the entire roof from an approximate 4-foot elevation, EagleView Assessdelivers high-definition imagery in a standardized, unambiguous packaged report that identifies anomalies during a full inspection of all roof facets, elevations, and roof features. Assess helped Hastings remove subjectivity and provided them a technologically-improved, complete adjuster’s report for claims review and resolution. 

Further, Hastings explained that this consistency allowed them to realize cost savings by allowing them to fine tune their indemnity obligations across claims. By removing subjectivity in roof inspections they were able to optimize their indemnification costs and obligations in the aggregate to achieve more efficiency in their overall claims payouts based on EagleView Assess™ anomaly detection technology. 

Improved Employee Safety

By employing EagleView Assess™, Hastings was able to nearly eliminate the need for their adjusters to climb roofs. This change provided Hastings with multiple benefits including: 

  1. EagleView Assess, foremost, made the day-to-day work of their adjusters significantly safer by eliminating the danger of falling off roofs during inspections. 
  2. Such a change offers Hastings the opportunity to revisit their Workers Comp insurance coverage and seek a significant reduction in costs due to the lower risk of accidents. 
  3. As individual insurers and the industry face recruitment and retention challenges, EagleView Assess offers a democratizing solution as it enables nearly anyone to conduct a thorough and highly-accurate roof inspection without ever having to leave the ground. 

Cost Reduction

By leveraging EagleView Assess, Hastings was able to lower some of the direct costs associated with residential property inspections. Hastings no longer needed to call in costly ladder-assist services to inspect roofs that were too steep or too tall for its own assessors to climb. 

Further, by using the complete roof anomaly analysis delivered by EagleView Assess, Hastings no longer needed to rely on the ladder assist intermediaries to offer their interpretation of the condition of the steepest roofs.

Implementing EagleView Assessalso eliminated the occasional scheduling friction with insureds that ladder assist coordination sometimes caused. As many claims professional knows, the longer a claim remains open, the higher the associated costs with that claim are. EagleView Assessenabled Hastings to eliminate the complexity and time delays associated with additional ladder assist resources to drive claims resolution speed and further realize savings in their claims operations.

Enhanced Customer and Employee Experiences

Drone Technology for Property Claim

Hastings shared that their insureds were often excited and eager to view the drone-powered roof inspections conducted through EagleView Assess. The fully-autonomous drone-powered inspection flights are indeed impressive to see in person and, when combined with scheduling efficiency and the improved understanding of total roof condition that EagleView Assess offers, deliver a greatly enhanced customer experience that can help insurers drive customer satisfaction and retention.

From an employee perspective, EagleView Assess drone technology and the entire roof inspection solution help adjusters to more quickly, efficiently, consistently, and safely deliver the needed roof inspection assessment and comprehensive reports needed to speed effective claims handling. The democratizing technology allowed Hastings adjusters to differentiate themselves from other insurers using traditional roof inspections and claims handling methods and made the adjusters’ day-to-day roles easier and fundamentally more productive.

The Results

In summary, Hastings Mutual Insurance realized many benefits from employing EagleView Assess for its adjusters in its property claims roof inspection process. With improved adjuster report consistency, greater safety for its adjusters, reduced claims-related costs, and an overall improved customer and employee experience during the claims process, Hastings Mutual Insurance saw EagleView Assess as a transformative innovative technology solution in their organization’s overall goal of modernizing and innovating their claims operations today and into the future.

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