US Insurers Rely on Drone Photos to Deny Home Insurance Policies

In a concerning trend, major US insurance companies like State Farm and Allstate are increasingly using aerial photographs captured by drones to justify denying home insurance policies. This practice has raised questions about privacy, accuracy, and fairness in the insurance industry, reports The Register.

The Role of the Geospatial Insurance Consortium

The Geospatial Insurance Consortium (GIC) was founded to help insurance companies keep track of the 144 million homes in America as of the 2022 census. GIC boasts about providing “stunningly clear imagery” and “post-catastrophic imagery” for areas affected by natural disasters. The consortium partners with Vexcel, a company that uses to analyze aerial imagery.

Concerns About Privacy and Accuracy

The use of private drones to canvas the US and other has raised privacy concerns. Additionally, the accuracy of these photographs has been called into question. In one case, resident Cindy Picos was dropped by her provider CSAA Insurance based on an aerial photograph that seemed to indicate her roof was in poor condition. However, an independent, in-person inspection found that the roof would last for another 10 years, but CSAA Insurance did not change its decision.

Questionable Practices by Insurance Companies

Nichole Brink, a former employee of Farmers Insurance, revealed that the company used aerial photos to drop claims for various reasons, from moss on the side of houses to tree branches seemingly hanging above roofs. Some photos were over two years old, leading Farmers to drop policies based on outdated information. In one instance, Farmers mistook shadows for tree limbs, resulting in a policy being dropped.

The Pursuit of Cheap Processing

Insurance companies appear to be prioritizing cheap processing of applications and renewals over accuracy and privacy. While in-person inspections are not perfect, they are more likely to result in accurate assessments and are more consensual than drone photography. Many states have laws protecting consumers from being denied coverage except for specific reasons, such as failing to maintain a roof. However, insurance companies can use shoddy aerial photos to circumvent these protections and drop customers.

The use of drone photography by US insurance companies to deny home insurance policies raises serious concerns about privacy, accuracy, and fairness. While the goal of insurance companies may be to drop as many customers as possible, this practice leaves homeowners vulnerable and without coverage.

As Nichole Brink, a former insurance industry worker, pointed out, “Farmers Insurance used aerial photos to drop claims for almost any reason.” It is crucial that regulators and lawmakers address this issue to ensure that homeowners are protected and treated fairly by their insurance providers.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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