Betterview Integrates Understory Weather Data to Add Historical Context to Drone Inspections

Understory provides vital historical weather information to automate parts of the information gathering process undertaken through Betterview’s UAV platform.

(Image source: Betterview.)

Betterview (San Francisco), provider of a technology platform for drone-based building and property inspections, announced that it has integrated Understory’s (Madison, Wisc.) historical weather data into its UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle software platform. Betterview’s drone platform, currently used by over 90 insurers, also offers detailed reports for roof inspections, claims estimates, wildfire reports and more.

David Lyman, Co-Founder, Betterview.

The purpose of the strategic partnership is to allow Betterview users to review historical hail, high wind, precipitation and ice dam data before sending a drone out to inspect buildings & properties, the vendor says. By simply entering an address into Betterview’s Tower platform, underwriters & adjusters are able review historical weather information, current weather conditions, satellite imagery, and building age to screen risk and investigate claims.

“Every time one of our insurance client submits an order, they want to know as much about a building & property as possible,” according to a statement by David Lyman and Dave Tobias, Co-Founders, Betterview. “In order to create more context around buildings & properties, underwriters and adjusters often go to various websites to gather building information, weather data, building & property images, etc. Our partnership with Understory pre-fills vital historical weather information to automate parts of the information gathering process, and more importantly, create a complete risk profile for our clients.”

Alex Kubicek, CEO, Understory.

Betterview describes its software platform as providing users with a holistic view of risk by assessing various building and property attributes before drone flights, then using artificial intelligence in conjunction with construction & roofing experts to analyze imagery captured post flight. Betterview’s platform utilizes what the vendor refers to as “computer vision,” which uses on a proprietary database of over 1 million analyzed and tagged photos of buildings and properties. With every inspection Betterview performs, its computer vision gets better at identifying potential roof related claims, such as hail damage, wind damage, loose wires, water ponding, debris, and more, the vendor says.

Complement to the Roof and Property Insights Betterview Generates

“We are delighted to have formed a strategic partnership with Betterview,” comments Alex Kubicek, CEO, Understory. “Our data is the perfect complement to the roof and property insights Betterview generates.”

Kubicek offers the example of an underwriter may be renewing a commercial policy with a roof that is four years old. “When the address is entered into Betterview’s platform, the underwriter may see there were significant hail and wind events over the last two years,” he explains. “While the roof may be relatively new, the underwriter may want to dig deeper due to these events, and use a drone to make sure the roof was properly installed or alert the policyholder of any other potential issues.”

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at or (503) 936-2803.

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