Q+A: Flock CEO on drone insurance firm’s rapid rise

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Flock’s rapid and successful expansion of its drone insurance offering in recent months has not gone unnoticed.

The drone insurance firm has gone from selling pay-as-you-fly insurance to insuring large enterprise fleets, and has done so while teaming up with a variety of companies, most recently Skyports, to also expand its offering.

CDP’s Alex Douglas sat down with Ed Leon Klinger, CEO of Flock, to find out more.

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AD: How has Flock managed the progression of selling pay-as-you-fly insurance to now insuring huge drone fleets?

ELK: Our mission at Flock is to make the world smarter, safer place. This means we don’t just provide passive insurance documents to our customers, rather we actively work with them to analyse flight risks and provide guidance on how to better mitigate these risks.

Our pay-as-you fly insurance for commercial drone professionals generated pricing based on real-time risk analysis. After launching, we received numerous enquiries from large enterprises looking to take advantage of our real time risk intelligence as part of a long term partnership.

This is how ‘Flock Enterprise’ was born.

To date we’ve insured over 3,000 commercial drones businesses and analysed over 1,000,000 flight paths, giving us one of the most in-depth understandings of air mobility risks in the world. With this we’re able to leverage an enormous amount of data to help our customers fly safer and open up the skies for worldwide drone flights.”

AD: From a business point of view, what strategy was put in place to successfully achieve this?

ELK: We built Flock Enterprise with and for industrial-scale drone businesses. This began with Texo DSI, owner and operator of one of one of the most advanced fleets of fixed wing and multirotor drones in the world.

We worked with their in house innovation team to develop a policy that could be customised to optimise Texo’s insurance costs and scale with their fleet of drones.

Texo have been awarded with the UK’s most comprehensive set of congested area commercial flight permissions by the Civil Aviation Authority and are committed to operating with the highest levels of safety. As their trusted risk partner, we ensure they’re covered for all kinds of operations.

Now we’re insuring Enterprise-grade drone fleets in a range of verticals, including the biggest brands in film and photography, oil and gas inspection, surveying, mapping, delivery and urban mobility. This includes insuring unmanned aerial vehicle test flights for some pretty incredible projects which we’ll be able to say more about in the coming weeks and months and into 2020.

AD: Tell me more about the Skyports team up and how you see that working for you.

ELK: Skyports are one of the most future thinking and experimental companies we’ve come across and as such they had a very bespoke set of requirements. As such our smart risk analysis driven insurance was a perfect fit for how they operate.

The power of Flock Enterprise is that it scales to cover everything from initial test flights all the way through to worldwide commercial use. Our unique approach to real-time risk intelligence allows companies to unlock insights to proactively mitigate flight risks, improve safety standards across their fleets and, reduce their insurance premiums.

We see the future of drones being autonomous, beyond visible line of sight and used to deliver cargo in complex urban areas. We’re bullish on this vision of the future and it’s why we’re the first company to offer insurance and risk intelligence insights built specifically for the largest drone fleets from around the world.

AD: How do you plan to build on your current offering?

ELK: Flock’s proprietary risk intelligence engine unlocks the potential for offering fully flexible insurance policies from an hour to a year. We use this technology to cover everyone from individual operators to the most complex enterprises on the earth. No matter the complexity of your drone operations, we’ve got you covered.

Now we’re seeing larger more traditional corporates forming their own internal drone teams. As they ramp up operations, we’re equipped to transform how they protect against risk. From Shell to UPS, drones are becoming increasingly involved in optimising last mile logistics and carrying out inspections in extreme environments. In fact a recent report we published found an increase in commercial activity will be the major driver in drones becoming a $100 billion market globally by 2020.

Due to the power and flexibility of our risk intelligence engine, we’ve also received a huge amount of demand from industries we never expected, from flying cars all the way to planes. We’ve got exciting plans in the works here so watch this space for more.

Earlier this year, CDP reported on Flock becoming an exclusive risk partner with Skyports.

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Alex Douglas

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