Drones take flight to assess damage in Australian insurer first
08 Jan 2016
For the first time in Australia, IAG has used drones to view damage caused by the devastating bushfires in the Great Ocean Road area, fast-tracking the assessment process for customer claims.
Aerial image of property damage in the Wye River area captured by a drone
IAG1 mobilised the drone technology through a property repair partner enabling the insurer to inspect properties before physical access was granted by authorities and start processing customer claims immediately.
Aerial imagery shot by the drones also allowed both assessors and customers to review damage from a safe location, removing the risks associated with physical site visits such as asbestos, fallen power lines and land slips.
“The impact caused by the Victorian bushfires was incredibly stressful for the homeowners affected and using drone technology as part of our assessment process allowed us to make the experience safer, simpler and faster for our customers,” said Andy Cornish, Chief Operating Officer for IAG.
“We are proud to be the first insurer in Australia to use drones to assess damage following a major bushfire and have received extremely positive feedback from our customers who benefited from this technology. We are already working with our property repair partner to develop how we can use this technology to help more customers in the future.”
IAG worked with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) throughout the process to ensure the use of drones would not impair fire fighting efforts.
In addition to aerial assessment, the insurer is providing a range of support to customers in the affected area through its CGU Insurance brand, including:
- Mobile customer service available through the CGU Insurance Major Event Rapid Response Vehicle (MERRV) located on the corner of Thompson Street and Great Ocean Road in Apollo Bay.
- Technical assistance with verified building consultants if customers elect to manage the re-build process direct.
- Emergency accommodation assistance.
- Immediate access to emergency funds.
- 24/7 claims assistance.
“While technology has played a huge role in meeting our customers’ needs, we also understand that nothing beats personal connection when times are tough. We have allocated extra resource to ensure we have a team available on-the-ground to support our customers in getting back on their feet,” said Mr Cornish.
Customers can contact the 24 hour CGU Insurance claims line on 13 24 80 if they have any questions regarding their claim or require additional support.
1Claims for CGU Insurance, WFI and Coles Insurance were assessed using the drone technology co-ordinated through IAG’s property repair partner.