How to be the 007 of underwriting

by Heather Munro on June 20, 2016


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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.

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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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Topics: Insurance, Underwriting

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