HomeInsuranceAerial inspections here to stay for California home insurance

Aerial inspections here to stay for California home insurance

Insurance experts say homeowners should start getting used to this new way of home inspections.

CALIFORNIA, USA — California has a home insurance crisis, and with wildfire season just around the corner, companies are still dropping people’s policies. Some people are even getting notices without anyone coming to their home after having an inspection done from above.

“AAA, like a lot of insurance companies, are utilizing new technology to try and simplify the underwriting process,” said Karl Susman, Susman Insurance Agency.

Susman is a California insurance expert and said inspections by air have become an updated way for home insurance companies to perform inspections.

“They’re flying drones over the neighborhoods to try and get an idea of conditions that might exist,” said Susman.

In the past, inspections would be done with inspectors physically coming to homes. Companies also used satellite imagery, but with new the technology, Susman said it can feel like an invasion of privacy.

“Nobody’s being notified about this; they’re not aware that it’s happening until after the fact. It’s a very violating feeling,” he said.

As managing partner of Sky Insurance in Rocklin, Aurora Mullett said some of her clients came to her after they were dropped by their insurance company following an inspection. She’s had to tell her clients to accept this new way of inspections.

“Insurance companies that are really trying to reduce their risk… by using this drone footage, they can get an overall look. It’s (a) less cost approach for the insurance companies,” said Mullett.

Mullett added that the traditional in-person inspection might lead to more issues for homeowners.

“If you want to combat it, then if we put somebody on the ground, we may find other things that are going to prevent you from continuing on with your coverage,” she said.

Homeowners do have some options if they’ve been dropped after an inspection. They can ask for photos and the information and whether there are any steps they can take to get the company to reverse the decision. California law requires your insurance company to give you advance notice before dropping you.

“You’re entitled to see what it is that they’re making an underwriting decision based on,” said Susman.

CSAA provided ABC10 with this statement:

“CSAA Insurance Group uses aerial imagery captured by third-party, fixed-wing aircraft and satellites. We do not use drones. The homeowner insurance application grants an insurance company authorization to inspect and reinspect the exterior of the home, which is a normal and standard part of any underwriting agreement. Any customer with concerns about our decisions is encouraged to submit current photos and documentation for careful review, and these are weighed in our decision process.”

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