Flooded with claims: Visualize how Louisiana event affects your portfolio

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Heather Munro



Photo credit: foxnews.com

Over the weekend, Louisiana experienced the worst flooding the state has seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A slow-moving tropical depression brought more than 30 inches of rain to parts of Louisiana, forcing the federal government to declare a major disaster on Monday. So far, at least 13 people have died, 30,000 people have been rescued from their cars and homes, and 40,000 homes and businesses have lost power.

Governor John Bel Edwards, who had to evacuate the Governor’s Mansion because of flooding, warned that the dangers are far from over. The Weather Channel reported at least six rivers hitting record high levels, with flood warnings still in effect.

As your insureds in Louisiana—and parts of Mississippi—prepare for continued flooding, you can get a more complete view of your potential exposure throughout this hard-hit region.

Quantify and act on the data you need right now

While the state waits for flood waters to recede and braces for possible flash flooding, the Louisiana Department of Transportation reported more than 280 roads were closed because of high water. Aside from rescue efforts, life has most certainly come to a standstill for your insureds in that part of the state.

To see the extent of the flooding, SpatialKey includes a flood footprint from our data partner, KatRisk. Armed with that information, you can see which properties have been affected, begin contacting your insureds, and mobilize your claims team to respond as quickly as possible.


In addition, SpatialKey offers you a choice of data providers beside KatRisk: JBA Risk Management is also available. You can gain a deeper understanding of the event by comparing and contrasting flood data sources from a variety of providers or select a single trusted data source as your preferred provider.

With the danger of flood still imminent in Louisiana, you can use the data from these expert sources to mitigate additional losses by reaching out to customers. Secondary effects of the flood will also almost certainly lead to more claims related to business interruption, contamination, and cleanup efforts. Evaluating the impacted areas now, can help your claims team determine if damage occurred from the initial flood or from a later peril.

Preparing your portfolio for increasing rainfall

Insurers know floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. But it may come as a surprise to learn that heavy rainfalls, like the most recent one in Louisiana, are on the rise because of climate change. The reason? Warmer air can hold more moisture, which in turn, causes more rain.

“Very heavy precipitation events, defined as the heaviest one percent, now drop 67 percent more precipitation in the Northeast, 31 percent more in the Midwest and 15 percent more in the Great Plains, including the Dakotas, than they did 50 years ago,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Although there’s nothing you can do about the flood risk you’ve already written, savvy insurers are using state-of-the-art tools and data to make better underwriting decisions. With SpatialKey, you can easily display areas where past or future hazard severity may be indicative of loss potential.

What’s more, you can identify and add policies that capture adequate premium, allowing you to grow a healthy flood portfolio as competition for that business expands in the wake of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you respond faster to floods and write profitable flood business, contact us today.







Posted in weather, Flood | Leave a reply

How will you weather hurricanes during the rest of the 2016 season?

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Heather Munro


ibtimes.co.uk_mexico-landslides-hurricane-earl.jpgHurricane Earl dropped a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours, causing mudslides across parts of eastern Mexico. Photo credit: ibtimes.co.uk

While tropical storm Earl escalated into a category 1 hurricane for only a brief time in early August, it caused major loss of life and damage in eastern Mexico. In just 24 hours, the region received a month’s worth of rain, which caused multiple mudslides across the mountainous terrain and at press time, around 41 deaths.

It’s a grim reminder for insurers to stay alert. As we near the halfway mark for the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, Colorado State University (CSU) is forecasting 11 named storms, five hurricanes, and two major hurricanes for the remainder of the season. While this is a slight increase in the number of storms predicted at the beginning of the season, CSU still expects a near-average Atlantic hurricane season.

September is also the most common month for hurricanes making landfall in the U.S., according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Between now and the end of the season in November, it’s safe to say that anything could happen.

Just as you provide peace of mind to your insureds, you need to feel confident that you’re prepared for the next big hurricane. SpatialKey is here to help you before, during, and after an event.

Stay on top of hurricane developments and act on them sooner

Like most hurricanes, Earl was anything but typical. It began as a tropical wave and thanks to warm waters and reduced wind shear as it crossed the central Caribbean Sea, grew into a tropical storm on August 1. One day later, the storm was upgraded to a hurricane, where it moved inland over Belize.

Next, Earl weakened back to a tropical storm as it crossed over the mountains of eastern Mexico. And although the storm never regained its earlier hurricane status, the steady rainfall—a month’s worth of rain in a day’s time—caused deadly landslides across the region.

During rapidly changing events like Earl, assessing the storm’s potential path, severity, and impact is critical to mobilizing your claims team to respond quickly. You need to understand exactly what’s at stake for your insureds and your portfolio. SpatialKey simplifies this process, giving  you seamless access to the NOAA hurricane event catalog, which is updated throughout the life cycle of the storm.

Of course, access to up-to-the-minute data means you have the information you need to manage your response efforts. Once you have a clear picture of the hurricane’s impact, you’ll also need to share a list of affected insureds with your claims team. SpatialKey allows you to easily export and share this kind of exposure data.

Hurrciane_Earl_Screen_Shot_2016-08-10_at_1.00.12_PM.pngVisualize a hurricane’s impact with real-time data in SpatialKey.

Let’s say that instead of downgrading to a tropical storm, Earl had grown back into a hurricane and changed course towards Cancun, a section of Mexico with seaside resorts where you have a substantial number of insureds. You can evaluate what-if scenarios like these and adjust your strategies as necessary, all within SpatialKey.

Once a hurricane is over, NOAA’s final event footprint is immediately available within SpatialKey. Your analytic team can review your portfolio performance at multiple snapshots in time and form a more complete view of the storm’s impact to your book of business.

Earl was the fifth named storm and only the second of 15 hurricanes predicted for the entire 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which still has three months left. Even in years with fewer named storms, savvy insurers understand it only takes one major storm to make landfall and affect your book to make any predictions irrelevant. Are you ready?

Preparing for any outcome is the key to retaining policyholders, minimizing negative impacts to your portfolio, and setting expectations with senior management. To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you respond to events faster and increase customer satisfaction, contact us today.
Posted in weather, Hurricane | Leave a reply

Learn why wildfires create a burning need for technology

Posted on July 19, 2016 by Heather Munro


emdigest.com_wildfire-1100473_1280_2.jpgPhoto credit: emdigest.com

Not only was 2015 a record year for the number of acres burned in the U.S., it generated the second largest insured loss in more than 12 years. Nearly 70,000 wildfires occurred and in almost every single state—making wildfire claims inevitable for most insurers. Now’s the time to make sure you are using every tool at your disposal to manage wildfire’s impact on your book of business.

With the 2016 wildfire season underway, and the McMurray Wildfire holding the title for the largest catastrophe in Canadian history, insurers are watching and evaluating current outbreaks closely. Conditions are ripe for an active wildfire season this year. Five years of drought in California and 100-plus temperatures in several Western states are fueling fires across the region. As we post this, firefighters are battling at least nine fires in California and five blazes across Colorado.

Wildfires are increasing and wildfire season is getting longer in the Western U.S., according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Even as insurers must contend with these more frequent events, wildfires remain unpredictable. But thanks to SpatialKey, your game plan doesn’t have to be.

Understand and respond to wildfires as they unfold

When it comes to wildfires, every minute counts. Wind gusts can spread fire rapidly, increasing the extent of the blaze, which may mean you need to update your loss scenarios based on real-time data.

SpatialKey allows you to do just that by giving you access to up-to-the-minute fire perimeters from GeoMAC, so you can quickly understand loss potential and anticipate outcomes. In addition, you can quantify risk accumulations of exposure for single or multiple wildfire outbreaks, then layer in claims information, for a better understanding of what’s at stake.

During a wildfire, mobilizing your claims team quickly is critical to your customer retention rate. SpatialKey enables you to easily view each insured and their associated data in the context of the event, so you can communicate with your customers as quickly as possible.

As firefighters work to contain wildfires, you can also see the potential spread of  a blaze within SpatialKey. Notifying policyholders about impending fires near vacation homes or taking steps to mitigate potential claims on high-value properties has never been simpler because you can easily export and share impacted exposures.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-13_at_2.02.16_PM.pngIdentify exposures within a user-specified buffer of an active wildfire.

SpatialKey can also help you understand how wildfire—whether active or past—can affect your portfolio. Use SpatialKey Wildfire to:

  • Identify the number and value of insured risks that fall within a wildfire extent
  • Prepare for additional claims from risks outside an active wildfire perimeter
  • Measure portfolio performance against historical events and past claims

With wildfires on the rise, insurance technologies like SpatialKey can give you the competitive edge you to need to retain customers.

To learn more about how SpatialKey’s robust data, crisp visualizations, and unmatched user experience can help you improve how you manage claims for better customer retention, contact us today.

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Who needs Q for underwriting gadgets when you have SpatialKey?

Posted on July 18, 2016 by Heather Munro


James_Bond_Blog_5_Image.png Photo credit: alternative007.uk.co

James Bond wouldn’t be James Bond without Q, the British Secret Service’s gadget guru. Whether it’s a space-age jetpack or a briefcase that shoots knives, Q designs one-of-a-kind tools that simplify the job of being Britain’s top secret agent.

Sure, Bond still has to get in a good old-fashioned fist fight now and then, but there’s no question that Q’s high-tech spy gear is his secret weapon. Just like Bond, underwriters have advanced technology to help them stay one step ahead of the competition. It’s called SpatialKey.

Tailor-made for the underwriting process, SpatialKey delivers self-serve analytics that enable you to make faster underwriting decisions. Protecting your portfolio from risk has never been easier, especially when it comes to terror. Here’s why.

Better, off-the-shelf underwriting solutions

Just as Q provides the cutting-edge tech that enables Bond to do what he does best, SpatialKey offers underwriters the sophisticated solutions they need to write profitable risks. Bond wouldn’t build his own solution and neither should you.

Terrorism underwriting has changed significantly since 9/11. Fifteen years ago, geospatial insurance analytics and technology providers weren’t around to solve the problems they can now. SpatialKey was built to fit into the insurance industry workflow. Today, you can quickly assess terrorism risks without the development and maintenance costs associated with creating an in-house solution.

In addition, as technology continues to advance, analytics become increasingly sophisticated. Tapping into insights, especially about accumulations, informs your underwriting decisions like never before. You need a partner like Q to keep your technology up to the minute, so you can stay ahead of the competition.

As savvy underwriters, you understand that to write profitable terror policies, you need to look beyond the total combined risks and understand the specific terrorism threat. To do that, you need insurance technologies that let you access analytics quickly and easily so you can make decisions before a risk hits your books.

Like one of Q’s sophisticated gadgets, SpatialKey makes that possible.


Not only can you can manage your risk accumulation by evaluating prospective risks within the context of your portfolio and claims history, you can visualize and analyze data in near real-time. Additionally, SpatialKey simplifies the process of comparing risks to your overall capacity, so you can remain focused on building a healthier portfolio.

With SpatialKey, you can:

  • Overlay any data that is useful to your underwriting process, including POIs, portfolio exposures, past activity, and claims.
  • Visualize high-interest terrorist targets on a map and evaluate new risks and your accumulations in close proximity.
  • Calculate the peak accumulation and rough loss estimates by “modeling” terrorism using a realistic concentric ring analysis.

Plus, our unmatched user experience enables you to easily access the insights you need to make smarter decisions right out of the gate—there’s no need for extensive training to get started.

Best of all, SpatialKey is a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) solution, which means you and your team are up and running fast. In a matter of hours, you’ll be using SpatialKey to analyze properties against potential bomb threats. What’s more, like Bond depends on Q, you can leave the worry of maintenance and future innovation to us…you’ll always have the best tech to work with.

Underwriters who can leverage the latest insurance analytics solutions will have a distinct advantage over their competitors. Now’s the time to make technology your secret weapon.

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Confidential: How to proactively manage accumulations at the point of sale

Posted on July 11, 2016 by Heather Munro



Photo credit: countercurrents.com

In every film, James Bond visits the plush office of his no-nonsense boss known simply as M. As head of the Secret Intelligence Service, M is the brains behind Britain’s top secret agent.

Before giving Bond his undercover assignment, M considers the possible scenarios, strategies, and risks that will affect the mission’s outcome. While the films may show M simply cautioning Bond to follow orders, you can bet he analyzes the situation from every angle before deciding to send him out into the field.

Like M, underwriters spend their days analyzing multiple risks and using their instincts to make critical decisions. When reviewing risks to your portfolio, accumulations are most likely your top concern. Here’s how you can easily avoid adverse concentrations, especially when it comes to terror.

Proactively manage risk accumulations before they hit your books

You don’t have to be James Bond to know that heavily concentrated risks can have catastrophic outcomes. Assessing how all lines of business could be affected by a single event, also known as managing accumulations for the possibility of clash, is an important insurance underwriting strategy.

Not only have past terrorist attacks caused commercial property and life insurance losses, they have affected liability, personal property, fine art, health insurance, workers compensation, auto, and aviation coverages. Performing multi-line analysis is critical to writing a profitable book of business.

Insurers have used a variety of solutions to understand existing portfolio accumulations and establish comfortable limits. When writing new business, underwriters use accumulation management solutions that proactively check limits to stop accumulations from emerging in the first place. SpatialKey allows you to not only benchmark existing portfolio accumulations but check for new ones during the underwriting process.

Like one of Bond’s gadgets made especially for spy missions, SpatialKey is tailor-made for underwriting workflows. You can easily evaluate risk within the context of your current portfolio and claims history, manage within available capacity, and focus on building a healthier portfolio.


Traditional mapping tools offer limited capabilities. SpatialKey, as the leader in geospatial insurance analytics, brings meaningful insights to life with maps that do more.

With SpatialKey, you will:

  • Display a schedule of locations on a map and perform an analysis to identify peak accumulations of exposure
  • Calculate the peak accumulation and rough loss estimates by “modeling” terrorism using a realistic concentric ring analysis
  • Apply varying damage levels to insured locations within specified distances from a potential terrorist attack centroid

Using scenario analysis and concentric ring footprints to determine loss estimates can give you the actionable information you need to keep bad risks from hitting your books.

While it’s best to leave fighting terrorists to MI6, you can approach terrorism underwriting strategically and proactively. Underwriters who carefully manage accumulation risks will do their part to contribute to a healthy and profitable portfolio.

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Every underwriter needs a Miss Moneypenny on their side

Posted on July 5, 2016 by Heather Munro



Photo credit: 007james.com

Whether it’s plane tickets, top-secret passwords, or detailed instructions from M, Miss Moneypenny is always there to support James Bond with the critical information he needs to carry out his mission. Is it any wonder Bond was so smitten with the smart, efficient MI6 secretary?

Just like Bond, underwriters need someone on their side who understands their unique vocation. Insurance technologies such as SpatialKey are purpose-built for an underwriter’s unique process, making risk selection as streamlined as if Q himself had developed the solution.

SpatialKey makes accessing accurate, relevant data easier, so you can spend more time using your instincts to evaluate the best risks. For help writing a profitable book of business—especially when it comes to terror—read on.

Write terrorism like you are retaining it, because you probably will

While the dangers Bond faces are extreme, underwriters should assess the risks of more conventional attacks, not worst-case scenarios. Terrorism underwriting for commercial properties comes with fewer options for transferring risks than natural catastrophes like flood, hurricane, and hail, so it’s more important than ever to feel confident about your underwriting decisions.

Without a robust terrorism risk transfer market, you are understandably reluctant to place a probability on terrorist events. Like Bond on a mission, who can't rely on reinforcements arriving, you can't assume reinsurers and investors/capital markets will back you up.

Another challenge? Insurers in the U.S. are mandated to offer terrorism insurance. The fact that the U.S. government (as well as other countries that have terrorist attack risk) provides a financial guarantee for extreme attack losses makes pricing terrorism insurance that much harder. Especially because terrorism risks are dynamic and the historical record is small and partly irrelevant.

You can add profitable terrorism coverage to your portfolio and stay ahead of your competition. The key is to make smart underwriting decisions. But you can’t do it alone. Enter: Moneypenny.

Just as Miss Moneypenny is loyal to “Queen and Country,” SpatialKey is dedicated to insurers. Designed specifically for the insurance industry workflow, SpatialKey helps you evaluate terrorism threats and determine the impact to your portfolio, enabling you to:

  • Manage and set threshold levels as part of underwriting criteria
  • Determine the impact on accumulations and terrorism footprints
  • Assess the impact a new risk will have on a portfolio’s total exposed limits within a small geographic area

You can also run your analysis based on specific metrics in your portfolio, on exposed limits, or on a specific area of interest within custom geographic extents.

Additionally, SpatialKey assists you in diving deeper into accumulations to get a more accurate view of terror risks. Our rings and target features go far beyond traditional mapping tools and allow you to:

  • Identify and evaluate peak accumulations of exposure within your portfolio
  • Analyze your portfolio against activity, high-interest properties, or historical terror claims
  • Look at terror target datasets (locations identified as having terrorism risk such as skyscrapers, churches, train stations, etc.)

Having the ability to derive meaningful insights on potential terror accumulations—as you already do with weather-related perils—keeps you at the top of your game.

Support staff like Miss Moneypenny may be hard to come by these days, but fortunately, SpatialKey is the next best thing to having a personal assistant who understands what you need to write a healthy portfolio.

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For your eyes only: How to write realistic terror scenarios

Posted on June 28, 2016 by Heather Munro




No matter where in the world his secret missions take him, the stakes for James Bond are incredibly high. Goldfinger, Dr. No, Jaws—these iconic Bond villains are always trying to start a nuclear war, blow up entire cities, or release deadly toxins into the Earth’s atmosphere.

While Hollywood’s version of extreme bad guys is entertaining, the chances of similar terror attacks happening in real life are undoubtedly low. Like any catastrophe, terrorism happens far less often than a James Bond film leads you to believe.

When writing coverage for commercial properties, underwriters should assess the risk of more conventional attacks, not worst-case scenarios. But just as 007 relies on getting the right information before making critical decisions, underwriters need an accurate view of data before using their intuition to write the best risks.

Here’s how you can analyze your current book of business and apply guidelines to write profitable new business, especially when it comes to terrorism underwriting.

Dive deeper into terror accumulations

The villains favored by Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books, usually hijack government weapons in a high-stakes effort to destroy their enemies. In real life, terrorist plans like these are significantly more difficult to carry out because of the specialized skills required, security procedures in place, and tight regulations on materials.

Bombs—not nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction—are the most likely terrorist attack methods because they are made from materials that are easy to find. Conventional bomb attack scenarios illustrating severe damage have a physical footprint radius that is generally less than a quarter mile. Concentrated risks like these are important in the risk selection process, as a terrorist attack could devastate a limited area while leaving surrounding areas with little to no damage.

It’s important to evaluate the peak accumulation if a bomb were to go off near prospective locations, and with SpatialKey, you can. The model simulates damage radiating away from a bomb blast, so you can see complete or partial damage diminishing as the distance between buildings and the original blast site increases.


James Bond has plenty of impressive gadgets—and you have advanced insurance technologies that go beyond the capabilities of traditional map tools. SpatialKey Underwriting enables you to:

  • Apply varying damage levels to insured locations within a configurable distance from a potential terrorist attack centroid
  • Calculate the peak accumulation and loss estimates by “modeling” terrorism using a realistic concentric ring analysis
  • Run your analysis based on specific metrics in your portfolio, on exposed limits, or on a specific area of interest within custom geographic extents

Additionally, with the SpatialKey Accumulations app, you can assess terrorism risks using the Rings and Target features, which allow you to:

  • Identify and evaluate peak accumulations of exposure within your portfolio
  • Analyze your portfolio against activity, high-interest properties, or historical terror claims
  • Look at terror target datasets (locations identified as having terrorism risk such as skyscrapers, churches, train stations, etc.)

Even better, SpatialKey also allows you to proactively access data at the point of sale as prospective risks are added, enabling you to price appropriately or avoid adverse concentrations before a risk(s) ever hits your books. Smart underwriting can help improve your bottom line without disproportionately increasing risk.

Having the ability to derive meaningful insights from accurate data—and being able to do so quickly with self-serve analytics—keeps you at the top of your game. Using your intuition about these insights keeps you ahead of your competition.

While we see some attacks that seem to be something out of a Bond film, it’s important to remember that such large-scale events are rare. Underwriters who focus on writing conventional terror risks will be the ones to reap potentially profitable business opportunities.

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How to be the 007 of underwriting

Posted on June 20, 2016 by Heather Munro



Photo credit: fullhdpix.com Photo credit: fullhdpix.com

James Bond makes it look so easy. Whether he’s sneaking into a super villain’s secret hideout, skiing down a mountain pursued by assassins, or matching wits with a femme fatale, he never breaks a sweat.

If you watch closely, however, there’s a reason he always lands on his feet—and it’s not just because of camera angles and Hollywood tricks. As he secretly scuba dives onto a private island, he makes sure to use all of the relevant information at his disposal. The amount of oxygen in his tank, the number of miles to shore, the best location to make landfall—these are the critical data points he needs to plan his approach.

While the data is critical to his mission, it’s Bond’s intuition that will help him carry it out. Bond’s gut tells him to look back on his way to the island, and he sees the enemy henchmen in time to stop their pursuit.

Like Bond, underwriters rely on both key information and their best judgement to get the job done. Here’s how you can easily use the most relevant data to write the best, most profitable risks, especially when it comes to terror.

Use the most advanced technology

Whether it’s a poisonous-dart-shooting watch or a car armed with lasers, Bond has access to tech that does more than you expect. So do you. Today, sophisticated analytics designed specifically for the insurance workflow can help you improve your terrorism underwriting, diversification, and overall profitability.

We have created a solution built for the Bonds of underwriting. SpatialKey Underwriting enables you to immediately determine the contribution to your portfolio from a single, interactive environment.

Terror 1 Blog_Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 1.31.16 PM

Just imagine:

  • Visualizing high-interest terrorist targets on a map and the proximity of new and/or existing locations to them.
  • Observing details about potential targets, such as a skyscraper and its surrounding building environment.
  • Displaying a schedule of locations on a map and performing an analysis to identify peak accumulations of exposure.

Having the ability to derive meaningful insights from multiple sources of information—and being able to do so quickly with self-serve analytics—keeps you at the top of your game. Using your intuition about these insights keeps you ahead of your competition.

Know your location inside and out

The beginning of every 007 mission usually begins in M’s office, where Bond receives his confidential orders to travel to dangerous parts of the world. As Britain’s top secret agent, Bond never begins an assignment without understanding the territory he’s about to enter. As a terrorism underwriter, neither should you. Fortunately, you don’t need M to get the relevant information you need.

When it comes to assessing a terrorism risk, location is one of the most important factors to consider. After all, what’s near your insured’s property—iconic landmarks, public transportation stations, and other potential targets—could increase the likelihood of an attack. The more you know about the locations you are insuring, the more accurately you can price the risk.

Data is meaningless, however, if you can’t make sense of it. Using geospatial insurance analytics to visualize what’s in and around the area you’re considering bringing into your portfolio is a key first step to making a confident decision. Just as you use past event data to better understand a potential weather catastrophe risk, using keen visualizations and analytics to evaluate a potential bomb blast equips you with the right information to avoid making a blind decision.

Rely on the experts

Just like Bond gets classified intel from the brains at MI6, you, too, have partners you can lean on for pertinent information. You can gain insight into the location of a potential attack from modeling firms like IHS, RMS, or Verisk as well as data providers who compile lists of probable targets. You can then visualize that data to understand exactly how it impacts a specific location.

Armed with this information, you can quote rates commensurate with the level of risk and differentiate between office buildings in different parts of the world and price their policies accordingly. Replacing doubt with compelling information brings science to the art of terror underwriting, where you can more quickly decide the best path forward for your business.

While none of us, not even James Bond, know where the next terrorist attack will take place, we do know that one will. Underwriters who can suit up and perform more like a quick-thinking secret agent, will be the ones to reap potential profitable business opportunities.

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3 lessons to make you see 2016 hurricane season in a new light

Posted on June 4, 2016 by Heather Munro


Photo credit: nasa.gov Photo credit: nasa.gov

Tropical Depression Bonnie kicked off the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season along the North Carolina coast earlier this week. While experts are still weighing in with predictions for the rest of the season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, estimates range anywhere from 10 to 17 named storms.

2016 is already shaping up to be an unusual year. Hurricane Alex made landfall in the Azores, a group of Portugal islands, in January—making it the first Atlantic hurricane to occur in that month since 1955. What’s more, the shift in weather patterns from El Niño to La Niña could mean a slightly greater chance of tropical storms and hurricanes occurring.

With these things in mind, we’ve outlined three valuable lessons SpatialKey clients are drawing upon to better manage their response and proactively select and price risks that mitigate the impact of catastrophe claims to their business.

Hurricane Patricia approaching Mexico’s coast on October 23, 2015. Hurricane Patricia approaching Mexico’s coast on October 23, 2015.

Lesson #1: There’s no substitute for live event data

When a hurricane hits, you need real-time event data so you can adjust your claims deployment as quickly as possible.

SpatialKey instantly shows your potential exposure to active hurricanes that may impact the U.S., the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. You can easily identify risk concentrations, estimate potential exposure, and most importantly, mobilize your claims personnel to quickly respond to insureds.

In addition, SpatialKey delivers the data through an intuitive workflow that readily exposes hurricane characteristics to support exposure analysis, making acting on live data that much easier.

Lesson #2: Faster access to event data saves you valuable time

Why spend time searching for the information you need to make critical decisions? After all, the faster you can respond to your insureds, the more satisfied they will be at renewal time.

SpatialKey provides seamless access to the hurricane event catalog from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which means you don’t have to source, prepare, and import hazard data yourself. Additionally, NOAA data is updated throughout the lifecycle of a storm, allowing you to review your portfolio performance at multiple snapshots in time.

You can also easily upload other expert data sources to get a richer picture of the event and tailor your response accordingly. Having the flexibility to see different views of the event gives your team the latest intelligence for making fast decisions when every minute counts.

What if Hurricane Ike struck again? What if Hurricane Ike struck again?

Lesson #3: Insights from past hurricanes can improve present performance

Of course, event response isn’t the only thing to think about. Looking closely at how and why your portfolio performed during past hurricanes and applying those lessons to your current portfolio can be the key to weathering the next big storm.

Not only does SpatialKey enable you to evaluate potential loss scenarios if an event similar to a historical hurricane happened today, it also allows you to:

  • Visualize your portfolio performance against your past hurricane claims experience and exposure data and develop risk mitigation measures.
  • Perform “what-if” analysis to see how a historical hurricane would impact your portfolio today.
  • Modify historical and active storm tracks to analyze possible exposures.
  • Display the storm track and its wind speeds.
  • Quickly gain insight into the composition of a portfolio of risks to identify the location characteristics likely to drive loss.

While no one can say for certain how many hurricanes will happen over the next few months, whether they will make landfall or not, or how severe they will be, now is the time to make sure you’re ready to use every tool in your arsenal when one does occur.

To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you respond to events faster and underwrite more profitable hurricane business, contact us today.

Posted in weather, Hurricane | Leave a reply

Understand How the McMurray Wildfire Will Impact Your Portfolio

Posted on May 10, 2016 by Sarah Kinnel


Photo Credit: Reuters via CBC News. Photo Credit: Reuters via CBC News.

Since it began on May 1, the Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta has torched at least 500,000 acres and destroyed about 1,600 homes and buildings. As the fire continues to burn, SpatialKey clients can access the widespread wildfire’s perimeter data from RedZone. In a matter of minutes, SpatialKey clients can identify their insureds’ locations in and around the wildfire.

Understand your assumed risk using RedZone’s perimeter data of the Fort McMurray wildfire within SpatialKey. Understand your assumed risk using RedZone’s perimeter data of the Fort McMurray wildfire within SpatialKey.

RedZone’s perimeter data helps insurers form a more complete view of their potential exposure within what is likely to be the costliest natural disaster in Canada’s history. Early damage estimates range from $5 billion to $7 billion.

Quickly analyze the extent of your exposure in SpatialKey and identify insureds at risk inside or near the wildfire perimeter. Quickly analyze the extent of your exposure in SpatialKey and identify insureds at risk inside or near the wildfire perimeter.

Firefighters are still working to control the massive blaze, which kicked off Canada’s wildfire season a few weeks earlier than usual, raising concerns about the drier summer months to come.

Just as troubling, wildfires are on the rise across western North America. Insurers are using SpatialKey to analyze their claims from past events—including the 2013 Colorado and 2015 California wildfires—to better understand potential impacts to their portfolio.

Are you ready for wildfire season? To learn how SpatialKey can help you respond faster to events and understand loss potential, contact us today.

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