Advances in aerial technology have provided insurers with the use of drones to inspect storm-damaged properties. Insurance companies are increasingly making drones available to document damage and determine if a claim is valid. But even with the increase in convenience that drones offer, Florida homeowners should be wary of taking drones as the final word in approving their homeowner claims.
According to U.S. News and World Report, it is possible that a drone will not capture the full extent of damage done to a house. The article describes an instance when an insurance company sent a drone to perform a home inspection. Based on the results, the insurer denied the homeowner’s claim. The homeowner, unsatisfied, brought in a public adjuster to look at the house, who then requested that the insurer send an adjuster to do an inspection in person.
The danger of relying on a drone inspection is that it yields incomplete information that may cause your claim to be denied. Drones are great for capturing views of a home off the ground, but they are no substitute for the experience and judgment of a human being. For instance, drones cannot reach out and touch a roof surface to determine if something, such as water or air, is bubbling underneath.
According to an article run on Nerdwallet, some forms of damage are too subtle for a drone to detect. Taking pictures of a house roof or walls may reveal damage sustained by a hail storm, but severe hail damage can still be visually understated. So a drone might show limited damage when in reality the home has taken more severe carnage from recent harsh weather.
This is not to say that drone inspections have no value. They can gather home damage data more quickly when home inspectors are not available, and they can survey damage without risking the safety of a human being if the terrain is too dangerous. Still, drones are better if used as a supplement to human inspection without replacing it, and they should never be used to deny you a legitimate home insurance claim.