German reinsurance firm Munich Re has selected PrecisionHawk to enhance post-catastrophe assessment using drone technology.


The companies intend to offer faster response times and increased reporting accuracy following a natural disaster.

After the recent earthquake in Ecuador, PrecisionHawk collected drone imagery of the entire disaster site in a short period of time.

The images were processes and supplied to Munich Re. The reinsurer, via the alliance, intends to effectively assess the extent of damages and respond to claims quicker.

Munich Re corporate claims head Tobias B├╝ttner said: "The cooperation with PrecisionHawk will speed up loss assessment and estimation of losses in the aftermath of a natural disaster significantly.

"Our clients will benefit not only from the high resolution of spatial data, but also from processing the data with algorithms.

"Combining these new algorithms and modeling methods with Munich Re’s claim expertise will enhance and accelerate existing loss adjusting procedures for example by helping to deploy loss adjustment resources more efficiently."

PrecisionHawk uses a fleet of drones, which include its own Lancaster 5, a small, fixed wing platform, to collect aerial imagery at the desired disaster site.

The data is analyzed in DataMapper software platform. PrecisionHawk said in one 45-minute flight that covers about half a square mile, the drones can collect imagery at high resolution and provide data that can decrease the need to deploy adjusters to affected areas.

PrecisionHawk co-founder and president Christopher Dean said: "The mobility and scalability of the PrecisionHawk service platform is opening up possibilities for insurance leaders, like Munich Re, to better serve their members in the claims assessment process while also increasing the speed of their reimbursement.

"The addition of this platform to the insurance workflow will play a key role, not only in post-catastrophe environments, but also in enhancing pre-catastrophe databases that predict risk factors."

Image: Aerial image taken by PrecisionHawk Lancaster 5. Photo: Courtesy of PrecisionHawk.