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Insurer AIG gets green light to use drones in processing claims

Federal Aviation Adminstration gives insurance powerhouse approval to use unmanned aerial vehicles to examine disaster sites, assess risk and get claims rolling.

Insurance giant AIG joins Amazon and others in winning FAA approval for the commercial use of drones. Amazon

Insurance giant American International Group said Wednesday that it has received approval to operate drones to inspect disaster sites.

According to a statement, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved AIG's use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to inspect sites, assess and manage risk and loss controls for U.S. customers.

AIG added that it will also launch a research and development effort to find ways to deploy drones to handle claims faster. Amazon in March won approval to fly drones for delivery.

Drones can get AIG high resolution images of disaster areas for faster claim handling. Faster claims should get AIG customers payments faster because drones will also be able to get to areas that are difficult to manually inspect.

The U.S. effort builds on AIG's R&D program in New Zealand. AIG has tested UAVs to collect images and handle claims.

The FAA also approved a similar petition last week for USAA, which provides insurance and other financial services to military families, to conduct research and development on its new drone program to better serve its members.

This story was first published as "AIG wins approval to fly drones to help process claims" on ZDNet.