Q&A with IHS Markit, global terrorism & political risk data provider 

by Jen Smoldt on April 5, 2018



Between September 2016 and August 2017, 25,588* terrorism and political violence attacks occurred around the globe. The sheer volume of attacks warrants insurers to think differently about how they assess and manage this evolving risk. SpatialKey is collaborating with IHS Markit, the global authority on political violence and terrorism, to integrate their political violence risk index data into our platform—giving insurers a single system to assess, manage, and select terrorism and political risk.

We caught up with Michael Simms, Executive Director, Country Risk at IHS Markit, to gather more insight on IHS Markit’s data and how insurers can build confidence in their terrorism, country risk, and political risk selection and pricing.

How is your data helping underwriters and exposure managers better evaluate political risk?

Our location-specific risk scores and intelligence-based terror targets database enable evaluation of both risk selection opportunities as well as accumulations of exposure. Users can easily look at a schedule and rapidly understand if there are known targets or recent political violence activity nearby. Underwriters can also, quantify the level of risk to that schedule compared with the global average, helping them build confidence in their risk selection and pricing.

How does SpatialKey empower your data?

SpatialKey takes insight a step further, helping underwriters not only understand where new exposures are, but the level of terrorism, war, or civil unrest risk that those exposures face.

How exactly does the collaboration between IHS and SpatialKey benefit insurers?

It removes disparate systems from the equation, providing insurers with a streamlined workflow for quickly assessing political violence risk. In this way, they can commingle valuable datasets in a single platform to make more informed, faster decisions to better price, select, and manage risk. There is no comparable solution in the marketplace today.

How is your data sourced?

We provide comprehensive coverage of the political violence risk environment with:

  • 110+ country risk analysts and economists
  • 200 in-country analysts
  • 1,000 global intelligence sources, including in-country analysts, official sources, social media, and an extensive human source network.

Ah, innovation...how are you innovating?

Much of our innovation is behind the scenes at the practical machine-human interface. Our data collection methods and infrastructure are continually evolving and adapting to the explosion of available risk signals, such as instant messaging applications and satellite imagery.

What’s an emerging threat insurers should be aware of?

Suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in high-density public locations in European cities.

What kind of results can insurers expect to see from your data?  

Insurers aren’t going to be able to avoid all losses given the complexity of political violence risks, however, with IHS and SpatialKey, they can be reassured that their teams have access to the best intelligence available. With specific and credible intelligence, they’re better equipped to make the right calls—avoiding key losses and taking advantage of opportunities.

*non-state armed group attacks


Click here to read more about SpatialKey's collaboration with IHS Markit.

Topics: terrorism, Political Violence, political violence data, country risk data

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