Satellite roof technology (FRIEND or FOE)
I would like to discuss an ever increasing issue in regards to services like GEO ESTIMATOR and EAGLE VIEW that claim they can provide correct pitch and square footage with 99.9% accuracy with satellite imagery in addition to Pictometry (measurements of structures from aircraft flying over vast areas using high resolution cameras).
These services sound friendly in situations where the roof is deemed unsafe , 2 story or higher where an adjuster cannot reach and in situations dealing with steep pitches and in those situations, the service is golden.
We are starting to hear alot more about these services and they are showing up at more and more conferences and the last conference I attended with Team one in Ft. Worth had a session on Geo estimator and I see they held seminars and workshops recently at the Crawford conferences in Dallas and Atlanta.
My concern is will there come a time when carriers will come to the conclusion that it could be more cost effective to use Geo estimator on all roofs during a CAT and since that would dramatically shorten an adjusters presence at each risk and therefore allow IA’s to inspect more risks per day, could this lead to a smaller fee schedule and a reduction of our yearly income ?
With these services being unable to gauge damage to a risks interior, I am not concerned that an IA’s role in the field could ever be eliminated, but it could reduce our role during a CAT and that makes me wonder if we could see a reduced fee schedule.
The situation that makes me think the most is could a carrier decide one day that these services are most cost effective than a live IA when dealing in terms of Hailstorms and the damaged caused from these hail storms and could the IA’s role be eliminated from what has been an IA’s bread and butter for as long as I can remember.
With some Carriers apparently moving towards a preferred contractor, could we see a situation where future hail claims could be dealt with a Geo report and a roofer therefore eliminating the IA.
My concerns are somewhat alleviated as I read a disclaimer at the bottom of a web page extolling the virtues of aerial pictography that states
” Measurements derived from aerial pictography are not deemed accurate in regards to commercial and residential and civil engineering schematics ”
So while automation is inevitable in almost everything, I imagine it will take still a few more years before this FRIEND of the adjuster becomes a FOE…