CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Insurance adjusters who descended on Cedar Rapids after the Aug. 10 derecho storm are using drones to check roofs and asking homeowners with less severe damage to take their own photos.
Some of this is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reduced the number of experienced adjusters willing to travel. But the changes also help speed up claims and get repairs done sooner, company representatives said.
“Drones or aerial imaging helps them estimate the claims,” said Scott Hauptman, vice president for claims for Grange Insurance, of Columbus, Ohio, which is working with Integrity Insurance, of Appleton, Wis., to handle at least 500 storm-related claims in Cedar Rapids. “It’s as efficient as possible and helps them (adjusters) safeguard their health.”
Cedar Rapids officials told The Gazette on Wednesday that 140 buildings are too damaged to be occupied. Several hundred more have non-structural or cosmetic damage.