Technology shapes insurance companies’ response to wildfires

WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) — As wildfires raged this month in California, insurance claims experts at Travelers sat in a command center 3,000 miles (4,828 kilometers) away in Connecticut, monitoring screens showing weather information, satellite images, photos from airplane flyovers and social media posts describing what was happening on the ground.

Real-time data and technology that were unavailable to property-casualty companies even a few years ago have helped shape the industry’s response to the Camp Fire and Woolsey Fire in northern and southern California.

Jim Wucherpfennig (WUH’-kur-fih-nee), Travelers vice president of claims, says by using special tools and images from drones or aircraft, even photos uploaded by customers, his company can now make accurate estimates and cut checks, even in areas that are still inaccessible to inspectors.

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