5 UAV Applications You Should be Considering

By: Matt Kenney, P.E., CFEI, Technical Program Manager

One of the primary advantages Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) bring to claims investigations is their ability to capture high-definition photos and videos, particularly in hard-to-access areas like steep roofs or structurally unsound buildings.

But limiting UAV utilization to a flying camera is a little like using a smart phone exclusively for phone calls. It’s great for that purpose, but why stop there?

Donan takes you beyond the imagery, to the technological tools and software that add significant value to claims investigations. We’re talking about data that will inform claims decisions, delivered with greater speed and efficiency than ever before.

Here’s a look at the top five ways to turn UAV imagery into actionable intelligence.

Thermal Imaging#5  Thermal Imaging

Advanced software enables engineers and adjusters to quickly and efficiently identify and measure damaged areas, calculate total area in need of repair or replacement, and identify patterns across larger areas that can help reveal causes.


Contour Mapping#4  Contour Mapping

Contour maps identify elevation changes across an area.  This technology can be utilized for underwriting purposes to show how the ground around a building drains, or in water intrusion claims to identify problems in commercial roof slopes or ground elevations.


Orthomosaic#3  Orthomosaics

Orthomosaics can be used in catastrophe response to identify patterns of damage not seen from the ground.  Additionally, rapid damage assessment of individual properties and extraction of other data linked to property addresses allows carriers to quickly assess their total exposure and plan for adjuster deployment.


3D Point Cloud#2  3D Point Clouds

A 3D model is used to measure any length, area or volume of interest—such as the area of a roof surface or volume of a storage tank. These models are also great for documenting large loss scenes.



3D-Simulation_circle#1  3D Simulations

Flood simulations depict water rising during a flood event and can be used to calculate water height and depth, and to answer questions such as did floodwaters reach the house, and if so, to what depth? Simulations are also useful in calculating flood risk for underwriting purposes.


Donan has an expansive UAV webpage dedicated to educating the industry on the hardware, technology, applications and data that make UAV innovation an integral part of improving claims outcomes and processes. Visit our site, look around, and then let us know how we can help you implement UAVs into your organization.