Farmers to use mobile robot for catastrophe claims and property inspections

By now, you’ve probably seen at least one video of Spot “the robot dog.” Today, Farmers is announcing that it plans to use Spot to assist with in-field catastrophe claims handling and non-catastrophe property inspections, helping to improve the safety and efficiency of both while becoming “one of the first national P&C insurers to deploy a robotic quadruped.”

Created by Boston Dynamics and customized for Farmers, Spot, which comes with a price tag of ~$75k, will join the insurer as early as fall 2021 to help assess damage from catastrophes such as hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and wildfires. The robot’s “agility, advanced mobility, and perception to navigate various rough terrain” will allow it to access spaces and environments inaccessible for claims employees. Spot will be equipped with a variety of sensors and cameras, including a 360-degree camera and site documentation software to help reduce the time required to capture data and augment the in-field claims review process.

Farmers says that Spot may also help claims adjusters collect critical data and assist with claims handling optimization to serve impacted customers more efficiently. Additionally, the robot may be utilized to handle non-catastrophic events such as structure fires, collapsed structures, water loss, or other potentially hazardous environments in the future.

“Farmers focus on enhancing human-powered technology has led the organization to this very exciting milestone where we’re able to utilize new and emerging technology like a robot to further strengthen our commitment to our customers, all while helping to keep our employees safe. Adding such a dynamic robot to our stock of evolving tech – such as drones and satellite imagery – will help us build on our legacy and deepen our commitment to customers.” – Samantha Santiago, head of claims strategy and automation at Farmers.

Bottom Line: There may come a day where Spot appears alongside J.K. Simmons.