Encompass Taps Allstate’s Drone Partner for Aerial Images of Customers’ Homes

EagleView’s fixed-wing based solution derives accurate measurements quickly, allowing Encompass to more accurately underwrite and price insurance coverage.

(EagleView image courtesy of Allstate.)

Encompass, an Allstate (Northbrook, Ill.) company that sells personal lines insurance through independent agents, has turned to EagleView Technologies (Bothell, Wash.) for data and aerial images of customer homes to provide a more accurate and faster assessment when issuing or renewing a homeowners’ policy. Allstate recently announced it was working with EagleView to explore the use of drones in property claims. Encompass uses EagleView’s fixed-wing technology.

Sharon Dean, Product VP, Encompass.

Sharon Dean, Product VP, Encompass.

Obtaining housing measurements and property evaluations has traditionally been a lengthy, manual process with longer than desired turnaround times, according to Rishi Daga, president, EagleView Technologies. Prior to adopting the EagleView solution, Encompass would need to dispatch a professional property inspector would to the property to conduct an inspection, including measuring the property and taking exterior pictures from the ground. “Our technology derives accurate measurements quickly, allowing Encompass to more accurately underwrite and price insurance coverage,” Daga says.

“Encompass is on the leading edge of product and service innovation in our industry,” comments Sharon Dean, Product VP, Encompass. “We wanted to work with a company that is a leader as well, particularly in aerial imagery technology.

Encompass’ goal with EagleView’s is to deliver accurate analysis and assessments without disturbing or interrupt our customers from their daily lives, according to Dean. The information collected by EagleView delivers an electronic report which provides detailed diagrams and measurements of a home’s square footage, roof type and other information to ensure accurate pricing and adequate coverage for customers.

Image source: Allstate.

Image source: Allstate. Click to enlarge.

Drone Testing for Claims

Allstate announced in Dec. 2015 that it has been working with EagleView Technologies to test drone flights toward developing an innovative solution to the claims process. The insurer noted that drone flights could present possible improvements to claims efficiency for Allstate, especially after a catastrophe, when insurance professionals’ access to a neighborhood may be restricted by local authorities or by debris after disasters. In this situation, a drone could potentially help claims professionals serve customers in spite of those conditions by offering a complete picture of the situation quickly. Drones may also be able to accelerate the claims process during ongoing weather that would otherwise delay progress on claims.

Allstate announced that it has joined the Property Drone Consortium, which earlier in 2015 received approval from the FAA to use drones for further research that can help expedite the assessment of exterior property, such as roof damage.

“Drones are such an innovative technology and Allstate is out in front,” comments Shawn Broadfield VP, Claims Strategy and Innovation, Allstate. “I’m impressed by what I’ve seen to date and what we think is possible for our customers in the near future.”

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 AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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