In this interview, Ed Leon Klinger, CEO at Flock, discusses the value of moving away from the traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to insurance by providing insurers with cutting edge data science that allows them to create new specialized solutions. His insurtech, Flock, has developed the technology and know-how on how to intelligently assess, quantify and insure drone flight risks on an individual basis.
Keep reading to learn how Flock’s data-driven technology is reinventing drone insurance from the ground up, and helping organisations across the drone industry to fly safer.
What problem did you set out to solve when founding Flock?
The problem in the drone industry is that drone flight risks are unpredictable, complex, and not particularly well understood by insurers – the industry is still relatively nascent, so the amount of historical data that insurers have to work with is relatively low. The result of this is overpriced, cumbersome, but often compulsory insurance policies that are not fit for purpose.
At Flock we’re solving this problem using cutting edge data science. By feeding large amounts of data (such as hyper-local weather conditions, population densities, drone specifications and more) through our Risk Intelligence Engine, we have unlocked the ability to do something no one else can: intelligently assess, quantify and insure drone flight risks on an individual basis. High-risk drone flights (such as those undertaken in densely populated areas, or during bad weather) receive higher risk metrics, and therefore higher insurance prices. Safer flights (such as those undertaken in rural areas, or during optimal weather conditions) are rewarded with lower prices.
By moving away from a traditional ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to insurance, we’re giving drone operators and organisations more flexibility, a greater understanding of drone flight risk, and fairly priced policies based on their personalised risk profiles.
Can you detail the products that your technology has unlocked? And does your insurance platform have applications outside the drone industry?
We launched our first product back in 2018, which was Europe’s first ‘pay-as-you-fly’ drone insurance solution. Through a simple mobile app, drone pilots can purchase short-term policies (lasting from one to eight hours) that are priced proportionally to the real-time risks of each individual drone flight. This has proven to be really popular with SMEs, as it offers them a flexible and fully digital alternative to a traditional annual policy.
In addition to providing insurance, our mobile app also functions as a safety tool: pilots can use it to receive a risk report for any drone flight up to ten days in advance. What this does is equip our customers with the power to proactively optimise towards lower-risk flights, and save money on their insurance as a result. And it’s great to say that the data we’ve collected from analysing more than half a million drone flights has shown that on average, our Pay-as-you-fly pilots typically reduce the price of each policy by 15% through mitigating their flight risks.
Our latest product, Flock Enterprise, leverages our Risk Intelligence Engine at scale to unlock real-time insurance for larger organisations with drone fleets. In a similar way to our Pay-as-you-fly product, the real-time risks of individual drone flights are analysed and priced. With Flock Enterprise, we then aggregate those individual flight prices to calculate a monthly premium, which fairly reflects the actual usage and risk profile of a drone fleet in a given month. We also actively share granular risk insights with our customers, which empowers them to take measures to improve safety standards across their fleets, and be financially rewarded for it.
At the core of our data-driven approach to insurance and risk management is our proprietary Risk Intelligence Engine, which has countless applications beyond drones. We’re now working with insurers around the world to apply our technology to new verticals, which will unlock the ability for insurers to more accurately identify and quantify risk in an entirely new way. This is an exciting next step for Flock and opens up the door for never-before-seen products to be launched in new industries, ranging from marine and aviation, and even to space.