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USAA Asks FAA for Permission to Use Drones in Nat Cat Claims

In what may be a first for an insurance company, USAA, the insurer that focuses on military members and their families, has asked the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to advance its research into the use of drones for assessing claims following natural disasters...
October 9, 2014

In what may be a first for an insurance company, USAA, the insurer that focuses on military members and their families, has asked the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for permission to advance its research into the use of drones for assessing claims following natural disasters.

On September 25, the FAA granted regulatory exemptions to six aerial photo and video production companies seeking to use small drones. The applications were facilitated by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). USAA said it used those filings as guides when asking for its own exemption.

"After a catastrophe happens, it's very hard to get feet on the ground and deploy our adjusters," said Kathleen Swain, a USAA Property and Casualty Group staff underwriter and FAA-rated commercial pilot and flight instructor. "Using these vehicles, after getting approval from the FAA, [it] would speed up the claims process and make it more efficient to get our members back to their normal lives." Swain says the technology would not be used to replace a human in the process, but the devices would be used in collaboration with claims adjusters.

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