Insurance companies are using drones to inspect homes. Is this legal in Missouri?

Insurance companies nationwide are using drones and satellites to capture data on their customers’ homes.

According to technology company Intellias, insurance companies like Progressive and State Farm employ 17% of all commercial drones. And more drones will fill the skies in the next couple of years.

It’s one way insurance companies can assess the liabilities of a property. Your insurance company may use satellite images and drones to look at your home’s roof if it was damaged. Using satellites or drones can remove the need for a roof adjuster — someone who investigates insurance claims — to climb on top of your house.

Is it legal to do this in Missouri?

According to the Missouri Department of Insurance, the answer is yes.

Lori Cray, the director of communications with the Missouri Department of Insurance, said drone and satellite usage isn’t prohibited in the state and your insurance company can use a drone or satellite to look at your home.

Cray also said they don’t regulate when insurance companies inspect homes and that policy owners should check in with their insurance to learn more.


You might see drones more often because of the lower cost of inspecting a property that way compared to a human observer on the ground, according to Intellias.

The technology company said drones are cheaper and quicker, allowing insurers to assess a home’s damage or liabilities without sending a representative to their customer’s doorstep.

In their report, Intellias said using remote-operated technology gives companies better data and allows for more risk monitoring. The drones are equipped with infrared cameras that can detect water and air leaks, liabilities that would take an adjuster much longer to find in person.

According to technology site Adorama, drones make roof adjusters’ 40 to 50% more efficient since they cut down time spent on roof inspections, which they said could take anywhere between 45 minute to four hours.


The insurance company will want to know how much risk they take with the property they cover. According to insurance research site ValuePenguin, the insurer may want to see a home’s condition up close. While it’s not required, they can request a home inspection.

ValuePenguin states that companies are more likely to perform an inspection on your home if it falls under one of these categories:

  • The home is more than 25 years old

  • The house is newly insured

  • An insurance company hasn’t inspected your place in 10 years

  • You live in a high-risk area that can be affected by weather conditions like hurricanes, wildfires and hailstorms

If your insurance provider requests a home inspection, you can refuse. However, the insurance company can respond by increasing your rate or canceling your policy.


ValuePenguin said that companies and policy owners can perform several kinds of inspections depending on your policy and home’s age:

  • Exterior home inspection: This is completed on the street or property to assess the home and other structures like sheds, fences or pools.

  • Virtual home inspection: This is done using drones or satellite images. Homeowners can also take pictures and videos and submit them on their insurers’ app.

  • Four-point inspection: This inspection checks a home’s roof, electrical plumbing, heating and cooling systems.

  • Full inspection: This procedure examines the home’s interior and exterior for safety and any liabilities, examining systems like a home’s plumbing and electrical.