Drones to be used for Insurance Damage Claims

Go Lean Commentary

CU Blog - Drones to be used for Insurance Damage Claims - Photo 1What have you done for “me” lately?

So now that we’ve been awed and entertained with drones, frankly we need something more. We need to put them to work. What can drones do for us … in our quest to elevate Caribbean societal engines?

The answer is “Plenty”!

For starters, an insurance company had sought and is now approved to use drones for disaster claims processing.

This is BIG!

In a few days, the annual hurricane season will begin … in earnest; (this year was an aberration with the first Tropical Depression – Ana – making landfall early on May 10 in South Carolina, USA).

“Ana” is the first of what is forecasted to be a busy season. The names for the 2015 season are already pre-determined as:

Ana, Bill, Claudette, Danny, Erika, Fred, Grace, Henri, Ida, Joaquin, Kate, Larry, Mindy, Nicholas, Odette, Peter, Rose, Sam, Teresa, Victor and Wanda.

The source news article follows:

Title: FAA Gives USAA The A-OKAY To Test Damage Claims Drones
Kelsey D. Atherton

Source: Popular Science Magazine posted April 7, 2015; retrieved 05-21-2015 from:

After the disaster come the accountants. Major tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and the like do dollar amounts of damage, sometimes in the billions. That number comes from the nitty-gritty of insurance valuations and payouts, a wholly human assessment of the ruins from natural forces. Now, thanks to FAA approval, robots may start to get in on the action.

Yesterday, insurance giant USAA announced, as follows, that the FAA approved their request to test drones as a way to more quickly process insurance claims after disasters:

FAA Approves USAA Request for Drone Research

April 6, 2015 –The Federal Aviation Administration has approved USAA’s request to test how unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones, could help speed review of insurance claims from its members following natural disasters. USAA is one of the first insurers to be granted the approval for such testing.

“Our members have grown accustomed to seeing us pave the way for innovative solutions that streamline the claims process,” said Alan Krapf, president, USAA Property and Casualty Insurance Group.

In October 2014, USAA filed for an exemption under Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 to enable more efficient testing of small drones. Exempt from select FAA regulations, USAA can now fly drones, made by U.S.-based PrecisionHawk, during the day within line-of-sight of a trained pilot and air crew. Prior to the approval, USAA test flights could only take place at FAA-approved sites. No aircraft will exceed an altitude of 400 feet, and all flights will continue to be reported to the FAA prior to takeoff.

With FAA approval, USAA will work with PrecisionHawk [(see VIDEO here)] to efficiently research and develop best practices, safety and privacy protocols and procedures as it further develops plans for operational use.

USAA also filed for an additional FAA exemption in November that will enhance USAA’s ability to use drones in catastrophes. That exemption petition is pending approval, and a decision is expected soon.

“We’re proud to be among the first insurers approved to test this technology,” Krapf said. “It’s our responsibility to explore every option to improve our members’ experience.”

About USAA
The USAA family of companies provides insurance, banking, investments, retirement products and advice to 10.7 million current and former members of the U.S. military and their families. Known for its legendary commitment to its members, USAA is consistently recognized for outstanding service, employee well-being and financial strength. USAA membership is open to all who are serving our nation in the U.S. military or have received a discharge type of Honorable – and their eligible family members. Founded in 1922, USAA is headquartered in San Antonio. For more information about USAA, follow us on Facebook or Twitter (@USAA), or visit usaa.com.
(Source: https://communities.usaa.com/t5/Press-Releases/FAA-Approves-USAA-Request-for-Drone-Research/ba-p/62019)

USAA applied for the exemption in October. In their application, they noted that USAA employees were invited to Oso, Washington, after a mudslide to assist local officials with aerial surveys.

Drones are a great tool for examining natural disasters, because they can safely fly over areas where the ground may still be hazardous for humans. Visual assessment and mapping tools give rescue workers a way to understand the newly-changed terrain, and they can also let insurance agents see which claims are justified.

In the best case scenario, using drones to evaluate claims means that victims of disasters will get the resources they need to get back on their feet faster. All told, that’s pretty great. There are certainly far worse things that could happen when a robot shows up after a disaster.

CU Blog - Drones to be used for Insurance Damage Claims - Photo 4

CU Blog - Drones to be used for Insurance Damage Claims - Photo 5

The subject of unmanned aircrafts are just another area of autonomous vehicles that the Go Lean … Caribbean movement (book and aligning blogs) has highlighted as being a focused subject for the region. This subject will impact jobs and security measures. Consider these previous blog/commentaries:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1487 Here come the Drones … and the Concerns
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1277 The need for highway safety innovations – here comes Google
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=673 Ghost ships – Autonomous cargo vessels without a crew

A lot of activity with autonomous aircrafts have been the product of Radio Controlled craft hobbyists; see Appendix C VIDEO. But now, practical applications are being promoted, especially for commercial photographers. This is science, not science fiction; see VIDEO in Appendix B. There is the need for high-end photography solutions to process claims after natural disasters. According to the foregoing news article, the US regulators are now allowing the testing of drones for post-hurricane (and other natural disasters) claims processing. This aligns with the Go Lean book, to optimize natural disaster response AND to provide oversight for the regional aviation space. This book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). The CU/Go Lean roadmap describes CU agencies in the role of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) performs for the US in the foregoing article. So the parallel is strong, as there is the need to plan for natural disasters in the Caribbean – more and more – in partnership with the CU‘s Emergency Management agencies.

CU Blog - Drones to be used for Insurance Damage Claims - Photo 3

CU Blog - Drones to be used for Insurance Damage Claims - Photo 2

The Go Lean book purports that this type of industrial revolutions emerging with drones are more and more critical for Caribbean society. The risks and threats from storms will only intensify. In the previous blog about the rise of drones, this commentary asserted that “our region must participate in these developments, not just spectate on them”. These points are  also pronounced early in the book in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 14), with these statements:

i.   Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.

xxvi.  Whereas theCaribbean region must have new jobs to empower the engines of the economy and create the income sources for prosperity, and encourage the next generation to forge their dreams right at home, the Federation must therefore foster the development of new industries… In addition, the Federation must invigorate the enterprises related to existing industries like tourism…– impacting the region with more jobs.

xxvii.  Whereas the region has endured a spectator status during the Industrial Revolution, we cannot stand on the sidelines of this new economy, the Information Revolution. Rather, the Federation must embrace all the tenets of Internet Communications Technology (ICT) to serve as an equalizing element in competition with the rest of the world. The Federation must bridge the digital divide and promote the community ethos that research/development is valuable and must be promoted and incentivized for adoption.

This Go Lean book and accompanying blogs champion the cause of deploying technology to make the Caribbean a better homeland to live, work and play. The assertion is that innovative developments like camera-mounted unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) should be readily deployed after emergencies and disasters – from hurricanes to industrial accidents – to quickly assess the damage: life and property; see Appendix A VIDEO. There is the need to gather intelligence for where to direct First Responders (as in 911 emergencies); and even before people in the affected areas may call out for help.

While the focus of the Go Lean movement is primarily towards economics, it is the premise of this roadmap that security efforts must be coupled with the region’s economic empowerments. The premise is simple! The economic engines must be protected and preserved; this subject of “Insurance Company Disaster-Claim Assessing Drones” is therefore within scope for the Trade Federation. In fact, the CU/Go Lean roadmap has defined these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these engines.

While there may be proponents and opponents (privacy advocates) of unmanned aviation, no one would object to aggressive efforts to locate people in danger or quickly restore communities to normal operations after a storm. There is an overriding need, as many times tourist-based industries need to project the confidence to the watching world that Caribbean winter destinations will be ready, willing and able to extend hospitality to visitors … in short order.

The message and image must be consistent for the region’s primary economic driver, even after a natural disaster: Be our guest!

The Go Lean strategy is to confederate the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region to form the technocratic CU Trade Federation. Tactically, the roadmap calls for a separation-of-powers, allowing the Caribbean member-states to deputize authority of the Caribbean airspace to the one unified CU agency. Operationally, there is the need for these drones in critical times and also for everyday scenarios. (Many times, watercrafts become imperiled in the region’s waters; the scanning & diagnostic capabilities on drones would far-exceed human-eye capability for search-and-rescue).

The book details community ethos to adopt, plus the executions of the following strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to foster innovative solutions in Caribbean communities, so as to positively impact the societal economic, security and governing engines:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – All Choices Involve Costs Page 21
Community Ethos – Job   Multiplier Page 22
Community Ethos – Public Protection Over Privacy Concerns Page 23
Community Ethos – “Crap” Happens Page 23
Community Ethos – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Return on Investments (ROI) Page 24
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Help Entrepreneurship Page 28
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact Research & Development Page 30
Community Ethos – Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederating 30 Member-states in a Union Page 45
Strategy – Agents of Change – Technology Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Aging Diaspora Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Globalization Page 57
Strategy – Agents of Change – Climate Change Page 57
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Tactical – Growing Economy – New High Multiplier Industries Page 68
Separation of Powers – Self Governing Entities Page 80
Separation of Powers – Aviation Administration and Promotion Page 84
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change – Hurricane Reinsurance Funds Page 101
Implementation – Benefits from the Exclusive Economic Zone Page 104
Implementation – Steps to Implement Self-Governing Entities Page 105
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas – Homeland Security Innovations Page 127
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Housing – Hurricane Risk Reinsurance Funds Page 161
Advocacy – Revenues Sources for Caribbean Administration – Reinsurance Funds Page 172
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 180
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Intelligence Gathering & Analysis Page 182
Advocacy – Ways to Improve for Natural Disasters Page 184
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Emergency Management Page 196
Advocacy – Ways to Foster Technology Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Wall Street – Adopt Advanced Products: “Reinsurance” Page 197
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Transportation – Aviation Oversight Page 205
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Fisheries – Search & Rescue Page 210
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Urban Living Page 238
Advocacy – Ways to Impact Rural Living Page 239

The foregoing news story relates to threats and consequences of hurricanes. While hurricanes present a Clear and Present Danger to “life and limb”, the focus of this commentary is on property. While the sense of urgency may appear to be lower, there is still the need to impact the region’s Greater Good. The advocacy in this case is to be an early adopter of technology to optimize the administration of Caribbean economic engines.

This is heavy-lifting. The buy-in from community stakeholders will not be easy; there will be the need for collaboration, compromise and consensus-building for the full adoption of unmanned aviation.

The insights from the foregoing articles and embedded videos help us to appreciate that the future for unmanned aviation is now! We must therefore lean-in for these empowerments now.

In fact the region is urged to lean-in for the entire roadmap of Go Lean … Caribbean. The benefits are too alluring. Protection of people, properties and processes. This is the Greater Good. This roadmap allows for that quest: to make the Caribbean a better homeland to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean…Caribbean now!


Appendix A VIDEODrone Footage from Inside Corvette Museum Sinkholehttps://youtu.be/vkEDwOidW_Q

Published on Feb 12, 2014 – University of Western Kentucky’s Engineering Department sent a drone helicopter into the sinkhole at the National Corvette Museum that swallowed eight vintage Corvettes.


Appendix B VIDEO – Sprite Unmanned Aerial Vehicle –  https://youtu.be/-w9YTJjGaEg

Published on May 13, 2015 – Meet Sprite, the most portable, most durable small unmanned aerial vehicle in the world. Powerful, yet simple to fly. Visit us at www.ascentaerosystems.com for more information! Pre-order at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/…


Appendix C VIDEO – Top 10 Drones 2015 – https://youtu.be/sq2n4TMC1XU

Published on Nov 14, 2014 – More Info & Pics: https://ezvid.com/top-ten-drones


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