State Farm Gets FAA Approval to Test Drones

State Farm says it has received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test the use of drones.

The Bloomington-based company is the first insurer in the U.S. to receive FAA permission to test unmanned aircraft systems for commercial use. State Farm said it plans to use the aircraft to “assess potential roof damage during the claims and respond to natural disasters.”

“The potential use of UAS provides us one more innovative tool to help State Farm customers recover from the unexpected as quickly and efficiently as possible," Wensley Herbert, Operations Vice President – Claims, said in a statement.

The first flights will be tested in Bloomington and will evolve to testing in real-world scenarios, the company said.

A spokeswoman for State Farm said the time frame is “fluid” but the company plans to begin testing after they pick which systems they will test and find pilots to man the devices.

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