State Farm headquarters in Bloomington. (credit: Chicago Tribune)
State Farm Insurance Company is seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to test the use of drones to capture images, including damage to roofs, during catastrophes.
The use of “unmanned aircraft systems” will “improve worker safety and expedite response and claim resolution,” the Bloomington-based home and auto insurer said.
State Farm said it’s seeking to test drones at its own private testing facilities on uninhabited rural farmland that is at least five miles from an airport and near the company’s Bloomington headquarters. It said it is also seeking to use a drone to conduct research and development in “real world” situations during and immediately after a real catastrophe, including a hurricane, tornado, windstorm, flood, wildfire or mudslide.
The Tribune recently reported State Farm was considering testing the use of a drone. Rival insurer USAA is also seeking FAA permission to test drones.
“State Farm will be evaluating how to utilize unmanned aircraft systems to capture images and to determine the nature and extent of damage to policyholders’ property,” the company said in its 18-page filing. “State Farm is specifically interested in studying how unmanned aircraft systems can be deployed to obtain up-close images of a policyholder’s roof and how State Farm can deploy unmanned aircraft system resources to areas hit by catastrophes.”
State Farm said its drone flights will occur under 400 feet.
It also said footage obtained could help emergency personnel.
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