Insurer is member of Commonwealth of Virginia team conducting drone test flights
State Farm® Selected for FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program
State Farm, the leading property and casualty insurer in the United States, is part of an elite team selected for the FAA Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP). The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced their selection of teams for the multi-year program following a competitive application process. State Farm is the only insurance company on the Virginia team selected to participate in the program.
State Farm is a member of the Virginia team led by the Commonwealth of Virginia through the state’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Investment Authority and the Center for Innovative Technology. Seven state agencies are part of the Virginia team in addition to eight corporate partners. Approximately 150 communities applied for the program. Only 10 teams from across the country were selected.
Over the next three years, the Virginia team will explore applications of drone technology including catastrophe response, emergency management, and infrastructure inspection. The day-to-day operations will be managed by Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP) at Virginia Tech, which has accumulated significant expertise running one of only seven federal test sites for unmanned aircraft systems. The organization has built a reputation for facilitation of ground-breaking testing while upholding the most rigorous standards of safety.
“State Farm has earned a reputation for providing an industry leading catastrophe response,” says Todd Binion, P&C Claims Staff Consultant at State Farm. “We see drone technology as an additional tool to help us assess damage and serve our customers and communities impacted by catastrophe events. We are excited to work alongside the FAA, MAAP, and other leaders in the drone space to address how drone technology can meet the ever changing needs of the public and private sector.”
In 2015, State Farm became the first insurance company in the U.S. to receive approval to conduct commercial UAS operations.
As the number of drones operating in U.S. airspace increases, the FAA has been working to respond to the growing interest in the commercial use of this technology, while balancing important concerns regarding public safety. The UAS IPP provides the opportunity for state, local, and tribal governments to partner with private sector entities to accelerate safe drone testing for currently restricted operations such as beyond-visual-line-of-sight flights and flights over people.
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and nearly 65,000 employees serve more than 84 million policies and accounts – more than 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies, and more than 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 33 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.