TECH SA: USAA's technology helping map damage from Hurricane Michael

Company has received roughly 19,000 claims

SAN ANTONIO – USAA officials are in Florida, flying drones and capturing images to help their members. They have received roughly 19,000 claims. 

“Any time a large number of our members have been evacuated from their homes due to a storm event, we’re trying to get them the information they need to have piece of mind and make good decisions,” Jay Mullen, strategic innovation director for property claims for USAA, said. 

They are not only using unmanned systems to capture video, they are creating interactive maps after contracting a plane to take aerial photos. This can help expedite the claims process, officials said. 

Interactive maps with aerial imaging allow members who haven’t made it home yet to see the damage and get an idea of what lies ahead. The high resolution images are also cutting down the time adjusters spend on inspections. 

Mullen used it himself while serving in the military reserves during Hurricane Harvey. 

“My Marine unit here in San Antonio was activated. We were deployed to the flooded areas through Houston and Port Arthur. And during that event, there was very little information on what the extent of the damage was,” Mullen said. 

The map is serving as a study tool for his unit before their arrival. 

“We were actually able to use that to see what routes to take and were to focus our efforts and help evacuate people and streamline resources to the people that needed them,” Mullen said. 

USAA officials say they anticipate claims growing over the next several days as power and phone service is brought back on in Florida. 

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