Learn why wildfires create a burning need for technology

by Heather Munro on July 19, 2016

California wildfire riskPhoto 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. See how we're collaborating with RedZone to make sure you have those tools from the point of underwriting through the lifecycle of an account.

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.

Wildfire data depicted in SpatialKey wildfire map

Identify 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.

Download our wildfire webinar with RedZone to learn exactly how you can gain that competitive advantage at the point of underwriting.

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.

Topics: wildfire risk, wildfire data, RedZone, Wildfire exposure

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