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Insurance Assessment Using Drone Leaves Homeowner With Concerns

By Jeff Todd

DENVER (CBS4) - As thousands of storm-related claims are being processed throughout the Denver area, one homeowner isn't buying what insurance companies are trying to sell as a faster way to handle claims; Michael Clark wants to see a claims adjuster and not a drone.

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"New technologies are great, but they're not always appropriate, You're not going to replace someone with boots on the ground," said Clark.

On Friday a third-party drone pilot showed up to do a roof assessment for Clark's home near Sloan's Lake. The roof sustained significant damage from the May 8 storm. Clark received a report from the third-party contractor.

"It looked like the drone operators were the ones circling the damage, not the insurance adjuster. He's a photographer, he's not an adjuster," said Clark.

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Damage is visible even to the naked eye from the street on the grey roof, which was built in the 1940s and needs significant structural repairs, including shingles.

"The biggest issue with my roof is not the top layers, it's the sub layers and the decking underneath the roof and you can't see those from here," Clark said.

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Despite his roof being inspected, Clark says his claim is crawling along. He says it's taking longer than it would have if an adjuster had come out with a ladder to inspect his roof.

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"The drone was a failed attempt and let's move forward and figure out how to do these things properly," Clark said.

Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he's been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.

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