The Federal Aviation Administration has given State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. permission to use drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, to inspect customers’ roofs.
State Farm was one of several companies, including Chevron USA Inc., that received exemptions to the federal regulations governing the commercial use of drones.
State Farm plans to use the drones to check roofs before issuing policies, for renewals, catastrophe damage and in claims handling. In its FAA application, the insurer said it will use contractors to provide the drone service. Those pilots must have at least 200 drone flights under their belt, spending at least 25 hours of time flying drones, and at least 10 hours flying a drone similar to the one used for the inspections.
Chevron plans to use the devices to monitor emissions at its oil and gas facilities. In its application, Chevron proposed drone pilots undergo a 100-hour training program and update their credentials every six months.