Leveraging Drones to Better Fight Insurance Fraud


Drones can help insurers to fight fraud by collecting data from a crime scene. For example, a car accident happened outside of town. The car that has gone off the road and crashed. Than you always have difficulties with forensics on the fieldwork, because you must go there physically. You have to measure the brake pattern. How far did the car went off the road before it stopped? You have to do a lot of fieldwork to estimate speed, friction, and everything. By using a drone, you can take photos from the scene to document every angle that you want to collect. Like from a bird view. You can also take a video, those are great for demonstration purposes or using it in court.

3D maps

By far the most important thing while using drones is mapping. You can fly with the drowns over the spot and make something we call the orthographic map, like Google maps, of the scene. From that you can make 3D maps and ultimately you can measure distances. You can measure squares and volumes. And you can get 3D images, so you can walk the path afterwards at your office. The best thing is you can document the scene on a total new level that you had before on the ground. You can get a great overview of it.

As an example, we had a customer that had driven off the road. He explained that he was driving 25 miles an hour and there was a dear in front of the road. He said that he had to turn hard left to no crashed with the animal, and he went out of the road and went into the river. By using the drones, we could go to the scene, and took a lot of photos from every angle to document the scene afterwards. And we made an orthographic map. We could measure the distance from where he pinpointed to went off the road as the moment of impact. And then we could use our engineers to find out with what kind of speed the car reached the river with normal braking and handling. If you don’t faint or something, you will try to stop the car of steer the car into safety. Our investigators found out that by using drones we could measure all the distances and we could calculate the speed and it didn’t matched the explanation of the customer. Then we said; this is fraud. The customer didn’t complain about that. So, we are pretty sure that he hit us a fraud. Then we handed the case over to the police.

Legislations for Drones

There are of course some rules and legislations when you are using drones for a commercial way. You are suddenly an aircraft pilot. It is not a toy anymore. But the technology is very easy. Is very affordable. It does not cost a lot of money. But there are some compliance rules that you have follow. According to the flight authority in each country, you have to make yourself know that you are allowed to fly in that spot because of safety precautions. Don’t fly over people that are not aware that you are flying. You need permissions from the land owner maybe. There are a lot of those types of things that you have to find out. The national legislation sees it as hot topic now because of a lot of ‘almost accidents’ with airplanes for instance. It is not difficult to do it, but you must comply with the regulations. But it is worth to check out.

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