Home Insurers Using Drone Surveillance to Assess Homes

Some U.S. home insurance companies are utilizing drone surveillance to assess the condition of homes and decide whether to provide coverage. This approach, aimed at reducing high-risk policies, has sparked discontent among customers and some company employees. The Geospatial Insurance Consortium has cataloged approximately 99% of U.S. homes for this purpose. Computer models analyze images to identify potential issues such as roof damage, yard debris, or unreported amenities like swimming pools or trampolines.

Insurers argue that aerial surveillance is less intrusive than in-person inspections, but critics raise concerns about privacy and consumer rights. The use of drones has prompted some employees to resign, and consumer advocates worry about challenges to potentially outdated or inaccurate images. Despite these concerns, insurance companies defend the practice as necessary for accurately pricing policies based on property condition.