Much like most things in life—advancement in technology also comes with a downside. More and more insurance companies are trying to use drones to do roofing inspections after hail and windstorms. There are many downsides to this.
In most instances, the insurance company is not sending out professionally trained storm damage adjusters. Instead, they are sending someone that specializes in flying a drone. We recommend having an actual adjuster on-site During the adjuster meeting, that understands the process and can make informed decisions on what is damaged and what is not.
For hail damage—generally, an adjuster or contractor must touch, feel, and get a close-up look to see the damage. An in-person inspection can take between 25 minutes to an hour—where a drone inspection is a quick flyover done in minutes and reviewed by another person (similar to the game of telephone) to find the damage. This procedure can cause line-items such as Shingles, Flat roofing, flashing, gutters, downspouts, vents, porch lights, skylights, and more not being seen some of the time.
For wind damage, drone inspections are especially bad. A lot of the time, wind damage is hiding underneath the shingles. You need to lift a shingle with a broken seal to inspect for more damage. Such as nail pull though, broken seals and matting transfer all under the shingles that you cannot see from a drone. If the insurance company only sends a drone, they are only looking for missing shingles and not giving your property the inspection, you deserve.
Another thing that frequently gets looked over on a drone inspection is personal property damage such as solar lights, flowerpots, bird feeders, mailboxes, grills, and other effusive items.
Drone inspections also put your contractor at a disadvantage as they do not get to advocate for you and be that extra set of eyes to discuss any other damage with the adjuster on site. The adjuster does not look at the drone footage until they review it in their office.
In some scenarios, drone inspections do make sense, such as very dangerous steep roofs where the damage is very apparent.