Munich Re Selects PrecisionHawk Drone Tech to Improve Post-Catastrophe Assessment

The global reinsurer sees PrecisionHawk’s capabilities as among the innovative technologies that will improve the efficiency of claims management in the insurance industry.

(PrecisionHawk’s Lancaster fixed wing platform. Source: PrecisionHawk.) 

Munich Re (Munich) has selected PrecisionHawk (Raliegh, N.C.), a global, drone-data platform, to enhance insurance assessments worldwide by providing faster response times and increased reporting accuracy in the aftermath of a natural disaster. PrecisionHawk provides terrestrial data acquisition and analysis through an end-to-end solution using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for data collection and analysis software tools to deliver better business intelligence to clients across a wide range of civilian industries.

Tobias Büttner, Head of Corporate Claims, Munich Re.

Tobias Büttner, Head of Corporate Claims, Munich Re.

The reinsurer recently put the relationship to use, following the April earthquake in Ecuador, where PrecisionHawk collected drone imagery of the entire disaster site within days of its occurrence. The images were processed and analyzed in PrecisionHawk’s data software and delivered to Munich Re. Munich Re aims to use these capabilities to more effectively assess the extent of damages and respond to claims quicker. The reinsurer will contract teams that cover North America and Latin America for its first deployments.

High Resolution Spatial Data and Analysis

“The cooperation with PrecisionHawk will speed up loss assessment and estimation of losses in the aftermath of a natural disaster significantly,” comments Tobias Büttner, Head of Corporate Claims, Munich Re. “Our clients will benefit not only from the high resolution of spatial data, but also from processing the data with algorithms.”

PrecisionHawk matrice600

PrecisionHawk Matrice 600 platform.

“Combining these new algorithms and modeling methods with Munich Re’s claim expertise will enhance and accelerate existing loss adjusting procedures for example by helping to deploy loss adjustment resources more efficiently,” Büttner adds. “Innovative technologies will considerably improve the efficiency of claims management in the insurance industry in future.”

PrecisionHawk reports that its service team uses a fleet of drones, including its own Lancaster 5, a small, fixed wing platform, to collect aerial imagery at the identified disaster site. The data is analyzed in DataMapper, which PrecisionHawk characterizes as the industry leading software platform to analyze and manage aerial data. In one 45-minute flight that covers nearly half a square mile, the drones can collect imagery at extremely high resolution and deliver data that can reduce the need to deploy adjusters to affected areas, the vendor claims. This increase in safety for employees, such as reaching areas that are dangerous or inaccessible for manual inspection, and efficiency in overall claims processing for members has piqued the interest of the insurance industry globally, PrecisionHawk says.

PrecisionHawk Matrice 100 platform.

PrecisionHawk Matrice 100 platform.

“The mobility and scalability of the PrecisionHawk service platform is opening up possibilities for insurance leaders, such as Munich Re, to better serve their members in the claims assessment process while also increasing the speed of their reimbursement,” comments Christopher Dean, PrecisionHawk co-founder and President. “The addition of this platform to the insurance workflow will play a key role, not only in post-catastrophe environments, but also in enhancing pre-catastrophe databases that predict risk factors.”

(PrecisionHawk promotional video below.)

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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