Could home insurance companies justify canceling policies with drone footage?

Home insurance - Drone - Cancelled

Insurers in Florida are being accused of using aerial photos as evidence to cut people’s coverage

Home insurance is already hard for many homeowners to find in Florida, as the state is currently suffering from a coverage crisis in that sector.  Now media reports are popping up stating that insurers are using aerial footage collected by drones to justify cancelling a property’s coverage or declining to renew it.

Reports are appearing that policyholders are receiving warnings from insurers

A recent WFTV report showed that some home insurance customers have obtained footage of properties using drones. From there, the insurers are said to have issued policyholders lists of repairs that must be completed if coverage is to be continued.  In some cases, these repairs were quite expensive, and the deadline for completion was 60 days.

Home Insurance Policy - Aerial view of houses

Some of the repairs included trimming trees with branches overhanging the house or removing moss from the roof. In other cases, new shingles were demanded.

The report pointed to one case in which a policyholder obtained estimates and had some of the work done, notifying the insurer of progress along the way. However, when all the tasks were not completed by the deadline, it was seen as inadequate, and the policyholder was notified that the policy would not be renewed upon its expiry date.

Florida isn’t the only place in which home insurance companies can demand repairs

In fact, in Massachusetts, insurers can make demands for repairs that must be completed in even less time – 45 days.  As long as the insurer has notified the homeowner with a written notice at least 45 days before the expiration of a policy, providing specific reasons for having made the decision, it is considered permissible.

This can occur regardless of whether the policyholder has every filed a claim with an insurer. Moreover, the policyholders don’t have to have been notified of any defects with the property before giving the list of repairs that must be completed in time in order to be able to renew a policy.

Drone use

Though not officially confirmed, the report pointed to the use of drones to identify potential issues with covered homes. This would not be unheard of. During the pandemic, drones and satellite inspections started being used far more extensively and the home insurance industry has been leaning more heavily on this type of tech.

Insurers have the right to assess a property’s data and can use this type of technology to support those efforts.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.