Innovation

Why 2015 is the year agriculture drones take off

Drones are expected to change how we cultivate and grow food across the country.

For years now, drone advocates have cited precision agriculture—crop management that uses GPS and big data as a way to boost crop yields and profits while resolving water and food crisis. Unfortunately, for all the hype surrounding the concept, drones haven’t had a significant impact on the agriculture business, at least until now.

Drones are able to gather widespread data across an entire growing season,  the farmer will be able to see by the time the growing season is over, the impact of the quality of his produce.

Drones will be able to assist both large and small farming operations with water and disease management.  Drones will also be able to help with better planting and crop rotation strategies, and provide a higher degree of all-around knowledge of how crops are progressing day-to-day in different parts of a given field.

Drones in the insurance industry

Three realistic scenarios for employing drones in the insurance industry:

Firstly, Drones have the potential to significantly change property adjusting. Instead of climbing scaffoldings and ladders to assess rooflines, ice dams and chimneys or renting scissor lifts and boom trucks to determine the cause and extent of fire damage, claims adjusters can deploy a drone to analyse hazardous situations without sacrificing sure footing or disturbing the scene.

“When armed with a drone, adjusters are able to capture better evidence, including close-ups, wide angles and zooming capabilities … all told, drones enable adjusters to carry less, stay safe and greatly improve evidence collection.”

Secondly, the enhanced productivity of risk engineers. With the availability of drones, a generalist, rather than a specialist, can be sent to the field to assess risk.

“The generalist can easily work with the drone pilot to guide the Drone through the property to capture videos and photos while using recorded voice dictations to note what they see.

“All this creates more accurate and timely reports without wasting a risk engineer’s time travelling from one location to another.

Drones not only reduce the demands of specialised workers, they also save time for all involved, eliminate the need for multiple site visits and significantly reduce the cost and turnaround time for completing risk-assessment reports.

Thirdly, this is especially true of catastrophe claims like those currently being seen across QLD, where adjusters might encounter damaged or blocked roads, fallen trees, broken power lines and other safety hazards while evaluating losses.

When used properly, drones have the potential to cut claim payout times in half, without sacrificing due diligence as drones increase the speed and efficiency of risk engineers and adjusters, they also compress the time it takes for claims to get paid, which improves customer satisfaction.