Sarah Stadler

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7.4 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan, what's the portfolio impact?

Posted on November 21, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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Update: After our original publication of this post on Tuesday November 21, 2016 the earthquake was changed from a 6.9 magnitude rating to 7.4, and that change is reflected in our headline and post copy.

Tuesday brought a powerful earthquake just off the western coast of Japan. The Telegraph reports that Japan experiences around 20 percent of the world's earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater, and this quake keeps that statistic strong with a 7.4 magnitude rating.  The quake struck near the  2011 site that caused a massive tsunami, setting off the worst nuclear crisis the world had seen since Chernobyl. With a quake as strong as today’s the potential for a devastating tsunami is a relevant and rising concern for citizens and insurers alike.

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Using SpatialKey, we began an immediate analysis of the quake to help insurers visualize where the it struck, and what potential damage it could cause if they compared it to their own insured locations. This footprint shows us the epicenter of the quake and the impact along the coast. The sample data set we used shows nearly 2,000 locations with the potential for moderate or strong impact from the quake. We also see the total for policy exposed limit in the upper right corner, an important metric many of our users reference when assessing portfolio impact. While this view doesn’t take into account the tsunami that could occur, it offers a telling image of what can be expected in way of claims coming in after the storm.

A few other things insurers can consider as the event plays out:

  • Property damage is uncertain so far, but the areas experiencing greatest ground shaking are coastal cities between Iwaki and Sendai, as well as inland to Fukushima.
  • The greatest concern is the potential for tsunami damage, especially given the severity of the 2011 tsunami and the resulting damage to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. While tsunami warnings are in effect for Japan, which is expecting a wave of 3-10 feet, there is no tsunami danger for the US West Coast.
  • Coastal residents in Fukushima and Miyagi prefectures are on alert, and evacuation to higher ground is recommended until after the tsunami has passed.

We’re here to help. Reach out today to assess your own portfolio against Japan’s earthquake to empower your claims response.

 

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How can 2016 risk inform your 2017 strategy?

Posted on November 21, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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2016 has been a year of growth and evolution here at SpatialKey from enhancing our solution for underwriters, actively monitoring catastrophic events that impacted insurers, and bringing on more 3rd-party data partnerships to fuel our solutions. With 2017 on the horizon, now is the time to reflect on the events of 2016 and understand how they can inform your strategy for 2017.

This year's success  

Enhanced data and analytics for underwriters

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We revamped our Underwriting app this year, giving users access to analytics and visualizations for any hazard, such as terror, flood, wind and crime. Underwriters can now access intelligence to inform risk selection, all in one place. Further, our solution offers the flexibility to consume and integrate any 3rd party or in-house content to assist with decision making across the globe.  Uniting data, analytics, and visualizations for underwriters to proactively manage your portfolio at the point of sale is an ongoing effort for SpatialKey, and we’re thrilled to be on the path to making data-driven underwriting a reality for all insurers. Take a look at this webinar recording featuring our terror underwriting solution.

On-time event response for claims
Our clients have been able to stay on top of catastrophe events as they happen by leveraging up-to-date event information from expert sources.  This produces competitive advantage, proactive customer outreach, efficient claims deployment and early intelligence to detect potential claims fraud. Combining timely expert data, visualization, and analytics in one spot offers tangible insight into potential exposure and helps reduce claims costs. Here are some of the notable events we saw this year, and how we visualized them in SpatialKey:

McMurray fire

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Hurricane Matthew  Hurricane_Matthew.png

Louisiana floods 

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European Windstorm app
We also heard the call from many of our European users to make it possible for them to understand severe windstorms (many of you reading might remember the impact windstorm Kyrill had nearly a decade ago), in SpatialKey. We collaborated with our valued partner, Willis Re, to create a purpose-built app for insurers to easily access, visualize and analyze insureds potentially affected by a storm, track windstorms as they happen with forecast data and event footprints, and overlay event footprints onto portfolio data in one intuitive dashboard. 

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More 3rd-party data providers

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At SpatialKey, we are deeply committed to making sure insurers have the right data at their fingertips, so they can easily analyze and visualize risk in their underwriting, exposure management and claims operations. 2016 brought even more expert data providers to SpatialKey’s platform, including HazardHub, EuroTempest, Location, Inc. and Impact Forecasting. Being a data agnostic platform means that insurers can access the most relevant data and models available in the industry, plus make use of their own in-house hazard, exposure and experience data, to make data-driven decisions for their business. To date, we are proud to have been selected as a value-added partner to these expert firms!

Focused on the power of collaboration 

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At SpatialKey, we believe that innovation is delivered with enhanced speed and quality as the result of industry collaboration, allowing each contributor to relentlessly focus in areas of core competence and focus its financial resources.  This collaboration requires involvement from the insurance and the commercial solution provider communities.  Insurers provide the proper business context and focus, while commercial providers work collaboratively to deliver best of breed data and software solutions that link disparate systems and serve up intelligence directly to the business user community.  


Our passionate leaders had a lot to say about that this year. Our CEO, Tom Link, wants to see everyone evolve in how they collaborate in today’s data driven world; our CTO, Brandon Purcell, published an insightful post on the buy vs. build debate and cost of ownership; and our VP of Products, Derek Blum, talked to us about leveraging the right experts to get ahead. Not to be left out, our COO, Bret Stone, authored a white paper on the subject that you can read here.

The point is, we care about working together to move the insurance industry forward, and we’ll always be putting energy and effort into making sure we leverage the experts around us to make SpatialKey solutions even more relevant, insightful and powerful.

 

Enough about the past, let’s talk about the future

Next year is going to be important for how insurers use technology and data. We will continue to see new technologies and practices emerge. Some of which seek to disrupt traditional practices, but almost all of which, will offer greater efficiency, cost savings, and decision support. Here are three ways we think insurers can stay ahead of the game in 2017:

Leverage technology for competitive advantage

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It’s a tough reality to face, but the current soft market may not improve next year.  Additionally, the "low rates" in the soft insurance market pertains to low premium rates. Add to this the fact that interest rates on investments have been particularly low for years and this means that there is even further pressure on underwriting profitability. 2016 saw significant wind, flood and wildfire event losses, and we have no reason to expect that 2017 will be less. InsurTech has been getting a lot of coverage, and the insurance industry is supporting this not only through adoption of new tech, but also injecting capital investment as well to activate new firms and initiatives and their associated innovations. InsurTech solutions have the potential to accelerate the decision making process, enhance data capture and accessibility, and deliver even more expert content.  All leading to efficient, better business. SpatialKey’s ongoing investment in geospatial insurance analytics ensures that insurers can readily access data and technology that support their critical business decisions.

Make rapid, informed and proactive decisions with data

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Data loses its power if it’s difficult to access, or worse yet, impossible to interpret. Insurers need data to work for them, not against them. They will continue to demand solutions that help them understand and analyze data quickly, so they can make informed decisions fast. More now than ever, insurers want to move analytics out of the back office and into the hands of the business with easy to use one-stop solutions that enable self-serve analysis of information.  

To that end, in 2017, SpatialKey will continue to commit 100% of its research and development into delivery of well-designed solutions, focused in the areas of underwriting, exposure management and claims.  Additionally, we will continue to seek collaborative partnerships with cat and non-cat expert content and technology providers to offer our clients even more choice and seamless access to the intelligence they need.  

Differentiate yourself through customer service

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In addition to the seamless integration of third party data, we see improving customer support and insight as a natural part of event response and as a key trend in 2017. Using data to proactively track a hurricane, wildfire, flood or other catastrophes empowers insurers to act quickly and respond to their insureds with speed and efficiency - amplifying their customer service and retention. In a soft market like today’s, there’s nothing more valuable than serving current customers and maintaining that strong business.

Connect now to learn how you can benefit from SpatialKey solutions

Posted in Wildfire, Hurricane, Underwriting, Flood, Data visualization, windstorm, Collaboration, claims, data partner | Leave a reply

SpatialKey® and Location, Inc. give underwriters access to crime risk data, enabling data-driven underwriting decisions and risk-based pricing

Posted on November 15, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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SpatialKey Inc. (SpatialKey) is pleased to offer its insurance clients access to crime risk data from Location, Inc., a leading provider of U.S. location based analytics. Location, Inc. specializes in providing hyperlocal crime risk data to help underwriters understand, measure and select risk, and calculate premiums with greater accuracy. Exposure managers can also use Location Inc.’s crime risk data to quickly identify and manage adverse portfolio accumulations.

“The Location, Inc. team is excited to be partnering with an innovative geospatial insurance analytics company like SpatialKey,” said Dr. Andrew Schiller, CEO and Founder of Location, Inc. “Making our SecurityGauge® crime risk data available via the SpatialKey platform allows underwriters to visualize and gauge hyperlocal crime risk at the time they are making binding decisions. SpatialKey clients will gain access to another layer of intelligence, enabling their underwriters to more quickly and effectively assess risk and manage exposure.”

Location, Inc. provides a deep-market view of human behavior risks (fire, liability, and theft and vandalism) at the policy address level. Its geospatial behavioral crime indices leverage data collected from over 18,000 authoritative sources and model risk for the entire U.S. landscape, down to an unprecedented 33-foot resolution. This fine-grained assessment of intelligent crime risk data enables insurers to streamline operations by eliminating risks in the early stages of the underwriting process. Insurers can pinpoint pockets of low risk within regions often thought of as high risk and, conversely, locate pockets of high risk within regions often considered low risk, resulting in segmentation and premium advantage over competitors.

“SpatialKey is a valuable risk assessment solution for our underwriting teams,” said RLI Insurance Company President & COO Craig W. Kliethermes. “We rely on sophisticated data to assess and underwrite risks, so having the ability to seamlessly access and analyze Location, Inc.’s crime risk data within SpatialKey will allow us to expand our use of the platform.”

The SpatialKey Underwriting application already gives insurers the expert data and advanced analytics they need to assess other man-made and natural catastrophe perils. Now underwriters and exposure managers can access crime data within the solution to form a more comprehensive view of risk in one convenient platform.

“RLI’s commitment to innovation and reputation for underwriting excellence has made them a great partner to work with in delivering an analytic solution tailored to visualizing and analyzing crime risk,” said Bret Stone, COO, SpatialKey. “We’re excited to take this solution to market with the experts at Location, Inc. as we believe our shared goal to deliver real and actionable insights to the insurance market will help improve risk selection, lower costs and drive results to the bottom line.”

Posted in Press Releases, Data visualization, crime, data partner | Leave a reply

SpatialKey® and HazardHub collaborate to give insurers easier access to hazard data

Posted on November 1, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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SpatialKey Inc. (SpatialKey) is pleased to offer its insurance clients access to hazard data from HazardHub, a risk data provider. HazardHub specializes in developing proprietary models and processing past event data to help underwriters and exposure managers better understand the probability of future property damage, in order to write profitable business and maintain a strong portfolio.

HazardHub’s expert data is the latest to be seamlessly integrated into SpatialKey’s geospatial analytics solution. The integration complements SpatialKey’s applications designed specifically for insurers, and helps underwriters and exposure managers better visualize risk and understand exposure alongside hazard data. Clients can now easily layer on the HazardHub data from straight-line wind, hail, and tornado to new policy submissions during the risk analysis process and make more informed decisions. Additional hazards from HazardHub, such as wildfire, earthquake and hurricane, will be added to SpatialKey Underwriting and Hazard Analyst applications within the next few months.

HazardHub’s team of experienced data scientists translate, create, and deploy large volumes of geospatial data from past events that are translated into scores that represent future risk potential.

“Working with SpatialKey offers insurers a seamless way to visualize and analyze our data without the heavy lifting of having to integrate it into their own systems,” said Bob Frady, CEO and Founder, HazardHub. “This collaboration offers the marketplace an innovative approach to consuming and understanding hazard data without the need for internal GIS systems or expertise."

With Insurance Journal reporting that catastrophes contributed to increased underwriting losses during the first half of 2016, high-quality hazard data is increasingly valuable to insurers. The partnership between SpatialKey and HazardHub simplifies the process of deriving meaningful insights from hazard data for insurers so they can focus on driving underwriting profits.

“We’re delighted to expand SpatialKey’s hazard data offerings for underwriters and exposure managers in the U.S.,” said Bret Stone, COO, SpatialKey. “With HazardHub data seamlessly integrated within SpatialKey, our clients can easily access and analyze relevant data to better pinpoint new business opportunities in an increasingly competitive market.”

Posted in Wildfire, Press Releases, Hurricane, Partnerships, Earthquake, Hail, tornado, wind | Leave a reply

Willis Re and SpatialKey® collaborate to bring EuroTempest data to insurers

Posted on October 23, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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New European Windstorm event response app available now

Willis Re, the reinsurance division of Willis Towers Watson (NASDAQ: WLTW), the global advisory, broking and solutions company has collaborated with SpatialKey Inc. to launch a new European Windstorm app. This powerful new event response application integrates data from multiple data sources, including EuroTempest—insurance industry experts in forecasting and reporting on European windstorm activity.

Accessible through a web browser, SpatialKey’s European Windstorm application provides seamless, real-time access to both forecast and historical event data. This enables insurance claims managers to perform geospatial analysis across an entire portfolio of insured properties exposed to a windstorm, making it easier to assess damage and to respond to claims as quickly as possible. Claims teams can also use the app to track windstorms as they happen, accessing forecast data and event footprints to understand their exposure and manage potential claims costs.

“We’re delighted to give our clients access to valuable windstorm data from EuroTempest through the powerful SpatialKey platform,” said Tim Edwards, Head of Europe Catastrophe Analytics, Willis Re International. “Now, Willis Re clients can easily access, visualize, and analyze the windstorm data they need to better respond to catastrophes as they occur.”

Nick Wood, Commercial Director, EuroTempest, said: “We’re pleased to partner with SpatialKey and Willis Re to offer insurers a way to visualize and better utilize our unique windstorm data through SpatialKey’s geospatial insurance analytics platform,” said Wood.

SpatialKey, which established a full-time presence in London earlier this year, is releasing the new app at a time when insured losses due to European windstorms average €3 billion per year, according to PERILS AG. During a typical season, which begins in November and ends in March, an average of six windstorms threaten Europe, affecting insured properties across multiple countries. European Windstorm is the newest event response app from SpatialKey.

“We’re excited to offer our European clients the expert data and advanced analytics they need to proactively prepare for incoming windstorm claims,” said Derek Blum, Vice President, Product Marketing, SpatialKey. “Insurers rely on contextualized expert content to manage their response, and using SpatialKey’s European Windstorm solution simplifies and speeds up that process during events, when every minute counts.”

 

Posted in Press Releases, Data visualization | Leave a reply

SpatialKey and Impact Forecasting are giving insurers greater access to global peril data

Posted on September 20, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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SpatialKey to include hazard data for more countries

SpatialKey now offers its insurance clients access to global peril data from Impact Forecasting, a catastrophe model development center within Aon Benfield. Designed to highlight potential risks for underwriters and exposure managers, SpatialKey geospatial analytic solutions now seamlessly integrate with expert content from Impact Forecasting. Insurers can now access the same, expert hazard data across both underwriting and exposure management disciplines, enabling them to make more confident business decisions.

“We’re excited to offer our clients access to a greater breadth of global hazard and risk data,” said Bret Stone, COO of SpatialKey. “Insurers rely on expert content to write and manage their exposure. Working with Impact Forecasting means our clients can easily access the information they need to inform their risk management strategies across the globe.”

In 2015, insured catastrophe losses totaled roughly $27 billion, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Risk experts, like Impact Forecasting, and geospatial insurance analytics providers, like SpatialKey, play an increasingly strategic role in helping insurers improve their bottom line. Both companies help insurers perform more accurate underwriting and risk assessment—two key factors in keeping insurers profitable.

Impact Forecasting provides data for eight kinds of perils in more than 60 countries, including emerging markets. With that data integrated into SpatialKey, insurers can identify new market opportunities and gain insights where their competitors lack understanding.

“We’re delighted to make our risk and hazard data models available to SpatialKey clients for the first time,” commented Adam Podlaha, CEO of Impact Forecasting. “Now, underserved markets can easily access, visualize, and analyze the data they need to better manage risk and write more profitable business.”

To learn more, please contact us.

Posted in Press Releases, Insurance, Underwriting | Leave a reply

Understand How the McMurray Wildfire Will Impact Your Portfolio

Posted on May 10, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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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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New Hire Underscores SpatialKey’s Continued Commitment to Information Security

Posted on May 5, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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Senior Director Ken Morford is responsible for ensuring the company’s enterprise programs are adequately protected—and for aligning SpatialKey’s security initiatives with clients’ business objectives.We’re pleased to announce that we’ve hired Ken Morford as SpatialKey’s Information Security Officer. In this role, Ken is responsible for ensuring the company’s enterprise programs are adequately protected—and for aligning SpatialKey’s security initiatives with its clients’ business objectives.

Ken brings 15 years of experience to this senior position, drawing on his background in multiple areas of security, including architecture, risk, incident response, penetration testing, and application. Ken is also a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), and a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

Ken has a proven track record of defining, implementing, and monitoring security programs across a variety of industries, including banking and telecommunications. Before joining SpatialKey, Ken worked at Sutherland Global Services, where he led global incident response, vulnerability assessment, and architecture security teams.

In addition to ensuring SpatialKey continues to adhere to the security framework outlined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Ken will work with SpatialKey’s development team to consistently evaluate and improve security controls throughout its software and infrastructure ecosystem.

“I am excited to be working with a company that has the foresight to make security a priority,” says Ken. “When it comes to software these days, security is simply another word for quality.”

SpatialKey’s continued commitment to security is something its clients are sure to appreciate as well.

“Security is critical to our clients,” says CTO Brandon Purcell. “Having someone with Ken’s experience on board will not only help us calibrate our security processes, it will enable us to stay one step ahead of potential threats—and give our clients peace of mind about their businesses continuing to run smoothly.

Posted in Hiring | Leave a reply

JBA’s Houston Flood Footprint Now Integrated with SpatialKey

Posted on April 29, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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Photo credit: inverse.com. Photo credit: inverse.com.

Following up on our post last week, SpatialKey is pleased to have integrated another flood extent from our data partner JBA Risk Management. The event footprint helps insurers form a more complete view of their potential exposure in a state hard hit with multiple severe storms in 2016.

JBA Risk Management’s footprint of April’s devastating flood shows the extent and depths of flooding in the Houston area. JBA Risk Management’s footprint of April’s devastating flood shows the extent and depths of flooding in the Houston area.

The multiple expert data sources within SpatialKey can help you calibrate your underwriting guidelines and view of risk.

With several flood hazard data options out there, it's a good idea to consider more than one. For example, FEMA National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) maps may not provide the best representation of risk in all cases. If you based your underwriting decision solely on the NFHL, you likely assumed more avoidable risk than you thought.

Seamlessly access hazard maps from JBA and FEMA to gain greater understandings of your assumed risk. This map shows how many risks in a FEMA X zone are exposed to potential flooding of greater than one foot. Seamlessly access hazard maps from JBA and FEMA to gain greater understandings of your assumed risk. This map shows how many risks in a FEMA X zone are exposed to potential flooding of greater than one foot.

With SpatialKey, you can access additional data and increase your confidence and your underwriting profits. To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you compete more effectively for new business and ensure you collect adequate premium while maintaining a healthy flood portfolio, contact us today.

Posted in Flood | Leave a reply

Houston Flood: 3 Critical Things You Need to Know

Posted on April 21, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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Photo credit: CBS Radio Houston. Photo credit: CBS Radio Houston.

On April 18, an astounding two feet of rain fell overnight around Houston, Texas—a 1-in-200 year event, according to NOAA. CNN reported this catastrophic flooding has already killed seven people, flooded 1,000 homes, and caused an estimated $5 billion or more in property damage in Harris County alone.

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 5.42.12 PM SpatialKey enables you to look at potential flooding from an event.

With such a large number of claims expected in a short period of time—and more rain on the way—getting your adjusters to assess policyholder damages is a tricky, yet critical, challenge. And, because private insurers are poised to begin underwriting flood insurance along with the NFIP, it’s also a reminder to take steps now to mitigate any future losses.

We’ve outlined three SpatialKey features clients are using to make their event response the best in the insurance industry and enable them to proactively select and price risks that mitigate the impact of claims to their business.

1) Flood Footprints from KatRisk Within 24 Hours

Less than a day after the onset of the flooding in Texas, SpatialKey users had access to a detailed flood footprint provided by our partner, KatRisk. Event footprints like these help you identify which policyholders may be affected, form a more complete view of potential exposure, and begin the process of deploying claims operations.

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 5.53.18 PM SpatialKey is integrated with KatRisk and provides the data you need with unprecedented speed.

2) Easy Access to Data from Multiple Sources

In addition to KatRisk, you can access, compare, and understand multiple, expert data sources—including USGS, FEMA, and JBA Risk Management—all from within SpatialKey. So instead of searching different websites, you can see the data you need in context of the insured locations and calibrate your view of risk.

3) Tools to Enable More Effective Underwriting

SpatialKey also facilitates underwriting by bringing hazard data and metrics to the forefront of the decision-making process by displaying 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.

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

Posted in weather, Flood | Leave a reply