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You call your Uber Elevate. Your drone taxi arrives and flies you to your meeting. While you’re there, you organise the drone delivery of your business’ cargo from ship to shore. You’re feeling philanthropic, so you donate to an NPO with blood-delivering drones that take lifesaving supplies to remote regions. As you sit in the skyrise, you notice a drone washing the windows. And you take a bite of an apple that you know a drone helped grow, by providing crop spraying from the sky.
It’s a future that’s not far off, according to James Godden, Head of Aviation at Santam. He says the use of drones is accelerating and diversifying exponentially, in ways we have yet to imagine. For example, India is now the latest country to test drone delivery of Covid-19 vaccines to rural regions. Locally, Eskom is considering deploying drones for powerline inspections. And private security company Fidelity is one of the country’s first providers to use drones to track criminals’ activity in suburban zones.
The unmanned aerial vehicles are getting more sophisticated, with the latest generation promising built-in safeguards, smart sensors and self-monitoring. Going forward, drones will continue to serve multiple sectors. Insider Intelligence predicts the global military drone market will reach $23.78 billion by 2027, and, by the end of this year, consumer drone shipments will hit 29 million, with drone sales topping $12 billion.
Godden adds, “From cargo delivery and security and surveillance to construction, agriculture, geographical surveyance, anti-poaching efforts, the movement of medical supplies and more, drones already play pivotal roles in our lives. This will only accelerate. We expect to see insurers innovating to keep abreast with the pace of change. We’ll be focusing on using risk intelligence to quantify and mitigate risk in real-time. As use cases shift, cover needs to evolve simultaneously.”
Here, he outlines some essential things for drone owners to know:
Visit Santam.co.za for more information on drone cover options.
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