Created by Boston Dynamics and customised for Farmers, “Spot” will join claims personnel beginning 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.
Spot may also help claims adjusters collect critical data and assist with claims handling optimisation to serve impacted customers more efficiently. Additionally, the robot may be utilised 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,” said Samantha Santiago, Head of Claims Strategy and Automation at Farmers. “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.”
Farmers efforts in the area of technology are driven by its long history of innovating for the customer and its employees. In recent years, the organization introduced a robust aerial imagery program leveraging drones, manned aircraft and satellite technology to help enhance claims operational efficiencies. Farmers also announced in late 2017 the deployment of a virtual reality (VR) program to help train claims representatives for home damage assessments. The VR program is still being used today and has been a vital technological asset to continue to train claims adjusters during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to utilizing Spot for in-field claims use, Farmers will explore applications that could help first-responder organizations during scenarios such as post-event search and rescue operations, accessing areas to assess danger for first responders or others, and/or pre-inspections to assess safety for anyone in the general vicinity.