Buy As You Fly graphic

“We believe that creating an experience that is effortless for the consumer, in what is traditionally an inefficient and unpleasant process.”

Usage-based insurance (UBI) is exploding as a phenomenon in the auto industry. Now, Acend, a telematics, software and data science provider, will deliver that same groundbreaking service to the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) market.

Through a strategic partnership between Acend and PrecisionHawk, a leading provider of aerial data and safety platforms for drones, commercial drone operators will be able to access and procure UBI through Acend’s simple automated platform. PrecisionHawk will provide Acend with drone data, including flight statistics and user approval.

“By partnering with PrecisionHawk’s LATAS technology to provide real-time flight tracking information, Acend is building an innovative model to empower drone operators with a simple and secure way to obtain cost-effective drone insurance coverage,” said Christopher Dean, president and co-founder at PrecisionHawk. “The ability to simply pay a few dollars in a rapid micro-transaction is a game-changer in insurance accessibility for the average drone operator.”

Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company, will serve as risk management advisor and insurance broker for the
Acend platform.

“We believe usage-based insurance is the future of the UAS market,” said Jason Saunders, president of Willis Towers Watson aerospace practice. “Our focus is on supporting the Acend platform by leveraging what we have learned from the auto industry to deliver UBI.”

“We are taking a user-centric approach to drone insurance,” said Acend CEO Steve Rabbitt. “We believe that creating an experience that is effortless for the consumer, in what is traditionally an inefficient and unpleasant process, differentiates Acend from other solutions. However, improving insurance is only the beginning of what Acend will do.”

Is this the next great thing? Hard to say but it is the second insurer to bring the UBI and telematics concept to UAS insurance, the first being Unmanned Risk who announced it in February and was the subject of Terry Miller’s recent presentation
at sUSB.
What a merry web is being spun here.
Acend says that the product was developed by PlatformBrown Inc.
PlatformBrown is a service offering to match pilots and companies looking for drone coverage. I get that they built the platform but don’t see the telematics technology.
PrecisionHawk’s LATAS is part of the Pathfinder program – but there is nothing about this on the PrecisionHawk site. So one wonders if there is a plan to deploy LATAS nationally in advance of adoption by the FAA (if in fact that ever happens.) Since LATAS is built on cellular coverage this may be possible.
Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW) is a leading global advisory, broking, and solutions company that helps clients around the world turn risk into a path for growth. They have 40,000 employees worldwide so…
And finally, PlatformBrown is owned by Brown Aviation Lease, a leading fleet management company providing tools for professional flight training organizations to flatline budgets, reduce risk, and lower costs.
On the surface it is a well financed, formidable combination that should bring a lot of know how to the market. I have reached out to them to figure out what I am missing.
I think that Buy As You Fly is a great idea but I really don’t see how it will eliminate “an inefficient and unpleasant process.” One is still going to have complete lengthy application to provide the information necessary for underwriting, and determine the necessary cover before you fly. But as Acend’s CEO rightly points out, this a process where there is a lot of room for both improvement and innovation, so let’s all prepare to be delighted.

Read more at UASVision

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