Punxsutawney Phil predicts it's time to reevaluate your underwriting approach

Posted on February 4, 2017 by Jen Smoldt

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Groundhog-day-washington-post.jpg

So, what does Groundhog Day have to do with underwriting?

On February 2nd, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. And, you're probably thinking, "So what does this have to do with my underwriting?" Just bear with the logic for a moment….Do you know how often Phil’s forecasts have been right? If he were right say even 70-80 percent of the time, would you see animal predictions as rooted in science? A sound piece of data perhaps? 

Let’s consider how rodent prognostication works: If Phil sees his shadow, then expect six more weeks of winter; however, no shadow means an early spring. The ritual dates back to 1887 when Phil first shared his meteorological insights and was then quickly devoured as part of the Gobbler’s Knob celebration (ouch, for Phil). Back in the day, there was a belief that Phil’s forecasting was connected to a larger animal consciousness.

The question we’re all asking is: How reliable is Phil, really? We decided to find out.

THE DATA 
The Washington Post actually did do the math. They calculated the average daily temperatures during the six weeks after Groundhog Day for the past 30 years and then compared the temperatures in the years when Phil saw his shadow to those in the years that he did not.

Drum roll please…

It turns out that Phil was right more often than not, but only in some cities. The results basically come down to chance because temperatures do not vary uniformly across the country—so Phil is bound to be right and wrong somewhere.

I know what you’re thinking...“This makes sense, but give me a number already!” Stormfax Almanac data suggests Phil’s accuracy is about 39 percent.

There’s only one prognosticating groundhog to make a very broad prediction for the entire country, though. Basically, every region of the country would need its own Phil for any type of accuracy according to The Post’s findings. For example, Punxsutawney Phil and his ancestors have been right only 39 percent, whereas Staten Island Chuck, has an 80 percent accuracy rate.

What’s this mean for your underwriting practices? Paying attention to more than one data source, the accuracy of data, and how it informs predictability can lead you to the right information for more informed decision making. Data and analytics are absolutely critical for accurate risk assessment—or let’s call it “underwriting prognostication” in honor of Groundhog Day.

PREDICTABILITY
Remember when Bill Murray woke up to a screeching alarm only to face the same day over and over again in the movie Groundhog Day?

Are you stuck in that same cycle when it comes to underwriting—approaching it the same way as you’ve always been? It’s likely that your practices are “good enough,” so why make a change? Here’s why: Eventually, the lack of moving forward—into a new day—will hinder performance. You will lose a competitive edge by being stuck in the same mode and missing out on key advancements (namely, InsurTech) to move your business forward. Many insurers realize this, that’s why three in four insurance companies—74 percent—believe that some part of their business is at risk of disruption.

ACCURACY 
In the movie, Bill Murray, who plays a weatherman, is able to accurately predict what will happen next. He can do this because he’s already lived the day before—he’s been there and is able to manipulate every situation to his benefit.

How great would it be if this were true for insurers? Imagine having the power to know exactly what’s going to happen when new business comes in? Being able to know for certain which catastrophes were going to hit (and when) would seriously increase success. But the fact is, risk is the reason insurance exists. People need insurance because they can’t predict the future. Every day in the insurance business is a new day—a new risk. And, anything that can help you more accurately predict risk is good as gold.

There’s a lot of information out there that can help with more accurate risk assessment, the big challenge is bringing it all together to empower more insightful decisions. Which leads us to how the combination of data, analytics, and technology, InsurTech in a nutshell, can enrich your insights for better “underwriting prognostication” (i.e. decisioning) and profitability:

“Insurers that embrace predictive modeling complexity by focusing on data enrichment, advanced analytics and technology can achieve a significant return on their investment,” said Klayton Southwood, director, P&C practice, Willis Towers Watson. “Carriers that catapult beyond their competition do so, in part, by leveraging superior data organization and analysis. For those insurers aspiring to unlock the potential of big data, they must be strategic, persistent and consistent.”

MORAL OF THE STORY
It’s essential to constantly evaluate your current underwriting rituals and determine if they’re still relevant for today or stuck in Groundhog Day. And the good news is, insurers don’t have to be stuck because the new day is offering incredible new solutions.

Like Punxsutawney Phil, and our friend Bill (Murray), you can’t be “holed up” in good enough. You need a broader view to accurately assess and gain insights. It’s time to leverage InsurTech strategies like geospatial insurance analytics which, in the case of SpatialKey, can provide access to a spectrum of content providers along with consistency and collaboration across departments–not to mention real-time insights that bring your data to life and help you make quality decisions. Because, let’s face it, data is useless if we can only see a shadow of it.

Connect with us to find out more about SpatialKey’s underwriting solutions. Or, see SpatialKey in action at the upcoming RAA conference:

HEADING TO ORLANDO FOR RAA NEXT WEEK? COME SEE US! - 4:45 EST, February 14

Join Jonathan Ward, AVP Risk Services, RLI, and Bret Stone, President, SpatialKey, on February 14 at 4:45 EST. They'll discuss today's underwriting challenges and demonstrate how geospatial insurance analytics has helped RLI harness the power of data to accelerate decisioning and much more. Don't miss it! 

 

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Hurricane Patricia Shaping up to be the Strongest Hurricane in History

Posted on October 23, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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Rapidly turning into a category 5 storm overnight, Hurricane Patricia is nearing the coast of Mexico with wind speeds of up to 200mph. Hurricane Ike topped out at 143mph, and Andrew at 175mph, leaving Patricia as the strongest hurricane ever recorded. With landfall expected this afternoon or evening, properties are bound to be destroyed, and insurers are preparing themselves for the impact.

Hurricane Patricia Wind Pattern - SpatialKey

50,000 people are being evacuated, and the town of Manzanilla is right on Patricia’s path. According to reports from CNN, a 30-foot storm surge is expected in Manzanilla’s bay, which is likely to cause flooding and landslides. Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco are the closest resort towns, and some are predicting that Puerto Vallarta will see winds up to 75mph - many businesses there are preparing for the storm by boarding and taping up windows. Our thoughts are with everyone bracing for such a devastating storm.

Wind speed visualized
Patricia’s winds are record-setting, clocking in at 200mph and holding steady - enough to carry an airplane and keep it in flight, according to World Meteorological Organization spokeswoman Clare Nullis. We can see here that a number of properties are vulnerable to the potential destruction from the combination of wind and water that this hurricane is predicted to produce.

Hurricane Patricia Potential Impact - SpatialKey

How this could impact your portfolio
With resort towns Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco threatened, insurers are likely to see some potential property claims after the storm clears. Understanding how much of your portfolio is exposed helps you figure out what to do next. With our direct integration with NOAA, insurers can immediately track the storm as updates are released. We’re here to help - contact us now.

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SpatialKey Selected by ProSight Specialty to Advance Underwriting Practices Through Data Analytics and Visualization

Posted on October 20, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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London, October 20, 2015 – SpatialKey Inc. (SpatialKey) is providing ProSight Specialty Underwriters Ltd. (ProSight) with intuitive, geospatial analytics and visualization for its underwriting team and coverholders.

SpatialKey’s Underwriting solution provides analytics and visualizations tailored to the underwriting workflow, enabling ProSight and its coverholders to consistently and confidently underwrite across multiple commercial programs. Specifically, ProSight is accessing rich data analytics, coupled with high quality data from natural hazard experts, JBA Risk Management (JBA), to select and price risks, manage accumulations and calibrate underwriting strategy.

“Developing a complete understanding of risk when evaluating prospective insureds is an essential component of our underwriting practice as we proactively manage our portfolio at the point of sale. SpatialKey and JBA provide an integrated solution we can trust and help us gain competitive advantage, deliver underwriting profit and reduce downstream claims and reinsurance costs.” Rob Saxon, Underwriting Control Manager, ProSight

“We are delighted to have been adopted by ProSight and their coverholders as a best practice to enhance ProSight’s profitability and execute their underwriting strategy. We look forward to driving continued innovation through our products and partnerships as a result of the work we are doing with ProSight.“ Bret Stone, COO, SpatialKey

About SpatialKey

SpatialKey is reinventing the way insurers transform data into actionable intelligence. SpatialKey solutions amplify the value of insured data and expert content through unmatched user experiences and breakthrough geospatial business intelligence. Through focused analytics and agile visualizations, SpatialKey helps more than 100 insurers understand global risk accumulations and composition, respond to live catastrophe events, and manage exposure proactively at the point of underwriting. For more information visit spatialkey.com.

Posted in Press Releases, Press, Insurance, Underwriting, Analytics, Data visualization | Leave a reply

Analyzing the floods in France: how is your portfolio being impacted?

Posted on October 18, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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A couple of weeks have passed since the flooding along the French Riviera on October 3rd and 4th, and re/insurers are inundated with claims and working to quantify their exposure and lend assistance to insureds.

France_Flood

Exceptional rainfall (up to 18cm in Cannes) was experienced in just a few hours along France's southeastern Mediterranean coast, resulting in considerable flash flooding. The French-Alpes Maritime region police said that 20 people are confirmed dead, the Association Francaise de l’Assurance expects more than 60,000 insurance claims, and Caisse Centrale de Reassurance (CCR) estimates insurance industry losses of up to €650M ($740M).

JBA Risk Management has issued a detailed (10 meter resolution) flood footprint for this region that captures the flood extent and associated depth and velocity information. According to JBA, “During surface water flood events, it is the combination of water depth and rapid water flow which causes the major threat to people and property.” JBA’s footprint is now available for analysis within SpatialKey.

Here, we see the various depths of water throughout the impacted regions, providing insight into which insureds could potentially have the most damage. Understanding where the water is and how deep it goes, helps you prioritize where to focus first.

France_Flood_Depth_JBA

As we further analyze, we gain a greater understanding of how major cities are specifically impacted, with visualized summaries simplifying the data for us.

France_Flood_Summary_JBA

Get in touch
We know it’s your top priority to mobilize your teams to help your insureds. In collaboration with JBA, we’re here to help you assess the impact of the French Riviera floods as quickly as possible, so you can focus on aiding your customers. Reach out today to learn more.

Posted in Insurance, Event Analysis, Flood, Analytics, Event response | Leave a reply

Understand the depth of your exposure to South Carolina flooding

Posted on October 8, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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The flooding in South Carolina was summed up best by Governor Nikki Haley when she called it, “a storm of historic proportions.” With the rains calming, residents and insurers are doing everything they can to determine next steps. Our insurance clients are turning to us to understand potential flooding experienced by their insureds.

SC_Flood Source: Richmond.com/weathercollection

In collaboration with KatRisk, we are able to offer a solution to help you understand your potential exposure to flooding. KatRisk has produced a footprint that represents the modeled potential flooding extent in South Carolina given the recent extreme precipitation. Currently, the exact extent of the flood and the locations of affected properties are not known, but SpatialKey can help you identify and manage those risks that may be of concern.

Where the water stands vs. how deep it goes

A large portion of South Carolina is currently exposed to significant flooding, and being able to see areas with the most severe flooding helps you know where to deploy your claims resources first. Using a sample portfolio, we see that there is $42M of potential exposure to flood depths greater than approximately 1 foot, most heavily concentrated in coastal counties.

South Carolina Flood Depths via SpatialKey and KatRisk

Quantifying your potential exposure

A quick analysis will reveal your potential exposure for properties that could be impacted by significant flooding. For example, this image shows potential Exposed Limits of $3.1M for policies with properties in Horry County where flooding may be greater than 1 meter (~3¼ feet). Knowing where your potentially most severely affected properties are helps you prioritize your efforts.

Quantifying potential exposure to South Carolina flood via SpatialKey and KatRisk

Satellite mapping with flood depth data

Getting a bird’s eye view via a satellite map with flood depth overlays brings South Carolina to life and helps you visualize exposed locations. Here, we see a number of locations in Horry County exposed to some of the potentially deepest water. It's easy to quickly share insured information directly with your regional claims teams, so they can mobilize their response efficiently.

Satellite mapping with South Carolina flood data via SpatialKey and KatRisk

Get in touch

We know it’s your top priority to mobilize your teams to help your insureds. In collaboration with KatRisk, we’re here to help you assess the impact of the South Carolina floods as quickly as possible, so you can focus on aiding your customers. Reach out today to learn more.

Posted in Insurance, Flood, Analytics, Event response | Leave a reply

SpatialKey Continues Collaboration With RMS Through Launch of SpatialKey Bridge ETL

Posted on September 9, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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Now insurers can upload RMS EDM data directly into SpatialKey for a more streamlined workflow

San Francisco, Calif. – September 10, 2015 SpatialKey, Inc. (“SpatialKey”) and Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (“RMS”) have extended their collaboration on RMS(one)® to provide insurers with an automated means to load RMS EDM (Exposure Data Model) data directly into SpatialKey. Creating a seamless bridge between these two systems, via SpatialKey’s all-new Bridge ETL app, eliminates the need to create and maintain scripts and queries that extract and transform exposure data from EDM databases for use in SpatialKey. Now, insurers can invest more time deriving insights and making decisions from the data than on preparing the data for analysis.

“Our mission is to make analyzing data easy, no matter the source, and SpatialKey Bridge ETL is an important step forward. Delivering a seamless process for consuming RMS EDM data is reflective of our continued commitment to empower the insurance industry with increased access to value-added data. We’re excited to expand our scope of work with RMS in an effort to create a more cohesive link between our collective products. ” Bret Stone, COO, SpatialKey.

“RMS is committed to enabling clients to manage their risk efficiently using the tools of their choice,” said Matt Reid, vice president, corporate strategy and business development at RMS. “Our collaboration with SpatialKey enables mutual clients to more effectively and efficiently manage their exposure using the RMS EDM - the industry’s standard currency for risk.”

SpatialKey Bridge ETL is a user-friendly app that sits on a user’s desktop and does the work of converting and uploading RMS EDM information for use in SpatialKey. Historically, insurers developed custom transformation queries to manually extract data for further analytic processing within SpatialKey applications. Now, it’s as simple as installing the application, pointing to your SQL Server and selecting one or many portfolios from your library of EDMs - the rest is automatic, and insurers will have ready-access to their exposure data. This new tool is another example of SpatialKey's commitment to giving clients access to the right information, right now.

About SpatialKey

SpatialKey is reinventing the way insurers transform data into actionable intelligence. SpatialKey solutions amplify the value of insured data and expert content through unmatched user experiences and breakthrough geospatial business intelligence. Through focused analytics and agile visualizations, SpatialKey helps more than 120 insurers understand global risk accumulations and composition, respond to live catastrophe events, and manage exposure proactively at the point of underwriting. For more information visit spatialkey.com

 

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

Know your exposure to hail

Posted on August 25, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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With over 5,500 major hail storms in 2014, insurers need to quickly assess the impact of hail events and expedite assistance to customers that may have been affected. SpatialKey Hail is seamlessly integrated with Weather Verification Services from CoreLogic® to help you quickly assess the potential impact of recent or past hailstorms, understand damage severity based on hail size, and ultimately, expedite relief to your insureds. You now have access to industry-leading analytics and expert hail data in one place without the limitations of time-consuming processes and clunky legacy software.

Within moments of a hail event, you can estimate the extent of your portfolio exposure using SpatialKey Hail.

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You can filter by hail size for insight into potential damage to various areas and classes of business. Understanding damage severity helps you to manage claims reserves and gives you a clear vision of what kind of damage your portfolio might experience.

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Finally, you can coalesce all of this information on one screen with robust, purpose-built analytics to power your business decisions.

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Get in touch with us today to gain access to this expert data, coupled with SpatialKey’s industry-leading user experience and visualizations. Download our data sheet here and take a look at SpatialKey Hail in action below.

[embed]https://youtu.be/R4-0ELxaZrA[/embed]

 

Posted in Mapping, Insurance, Visualization, Hail, Analytics, Event response | Leave a reply

Ring and Target Accumulations help you avoid and manage excessive exposure to terrorist activity

Posted on July 14, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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SpatialKey Accumulations Rings Image

It’s important for insurers to have an advanced understanding of their exposure concentrations as well as concentrations where terror attacks are most likely to occur, so they can analyze their current book of business effectively and apply guidelines to select new business as it is underwritten. We’ve developed Rings and Target models within our Accumulations app to assess any type of accumulation, but many of our clients are turning to these models for a deeper understanding of terror accumulations related to their current portfolio or new business that they’re evaluating.

The Rings and Target accumulation models are powerful tools that help you:

    • Identify peak accumulations of exposure within your portfolio. Many legacy solutions leave gaps that SpatialKey has been able to fill with its industry-leading methodology, so you can manage and write with confidence, knowing no potential accumulations have been missed.
    • Analyze your portfolio relative to points of interest. Load any set of location references to analyze concentrations against, like a dataset of high-interest properties, points of interest, historical terror claims or activity, etc.
    • Look at a terror target dataset (locations identified as having terrorism risk such as skyscrapers, churches, train stations, etc.
    • Understand event history (e.g. terror target history, tornado touchdowns, claims experience points, etc.)
    • Evaluate accumulations against your own portfolio locations – run an accumulations analysis by drawing a ring around each point in your own dataset
    • Understand the composition of each accumulation by any attribute of your data and understand which policies and locations contribute to it

Rings and Targets, along with our other models in Accumulations, gives you the option to run your analysis based on specific metrics in your own dataset, on exposed limits, or on a specific area of interest within custom geographic extents. Don’t ignore the impact terror can have on your portfolio and get ahead of it by implementing these new models today. Reach out and we’ll get everything set up for you: sales@spatialkey.com

 

 

Posted in Insurance Intelligence, Insurance, Visualization, Analytics, Data visualization | Leave a reply

Manage your exposure concentrations with confidence

Posted on May 18, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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We’ve been hard at work enhancing our Accumulations app, so you can confidently assess and manage risk across your portfolio. Accumulations delivers analytics and visualization to help you quickly identify peak portfolio accumulations, understand risk composition including policy and location drivers, and monitor capacity utilization and diversification. Leverage these analytics to monitor and adjust your underwriting strategy, evaluate bomb blast scenarios, and understand the impact of acquisitions.

Our latest addition, Ring Accumulations, brings best-in-class analytics and visualization that transform your portfolio data to help you effectively manage risk.

Ring Accumulations helps you monitor your use of capacity

Does your organization set capacity thresholds to help you write better business? Within Rings, you can create reusable scenarios, which include the definition of ring size, geographic extent, and a minimum loss threshold. You will be able to visualize and interrogate the resulting TIV or Exposed Limit accumulations to gain insight into adverse accumulations and further investigate each zone’s compositional drivers. Use these analytics to identify opportunities to better optimize your use of capacity.

Quickly understand adverse terror accumulations

Evaluate multiple bomb blast scenarios of varied size and damage potential. Using SpatialKey’s refined methodology and de-duplication algorithms, you are assured that potential terror exposure is not missed. Use this intelligence to eliminate gaps in understanding, identify top at-risk policies, and place moratoriums in areas of heightened potential exposure.

Reporting to rating agencies is now even easier

Use the results of a Rings analysis to determine and report your top accumulations zones to rating agencies, like AM Best.

Rings, coupled with the already available Grid and Shape accumulation models, gives you a comprehensive suite of intelligence to help you develop risk management strategy, respond to catastrophes and analyze concentrations in exposure, modeled loss and experience data.

Coming this summer

Target Accumulations to help you identify accumulations relative to any reference dataset, like terror targets, points of interest, and acquisition candidates.

Get in touch today to activate this new model.

Posted in Mapping, Insurance, Visualization, Underwriting, risk assessment, Analytics | Leave a reply

SpatialKey Selected by RLI for its Underwriting and Exposure Management Operations

Posted on May 5, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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SpatialKey, Inc. ("SpatialKey") delivers risk intelligence to RLI Insurance Company’s (“RLI”) exposure management and underwriting operations through robust portfolio data analytics and enhanced decision support at the point of underwriting

SpatialKey’s expertise in delivering intuitive, geospatial analytics and visualizations has enabled RLI to evaluate and respond to changes in the distribution and composition of its portfolio and write better risks. SpatialKey’s Insurance Intelligence solution provides a comprehensive suite of data analytics and visualizations that enable business users to turn information into decisions in their exposure management and underwriting processes.

“Data analytics is a key differentiator in how we operate, compete, select risks, and proactively manage our portfolio. With SpatialKey, we have empowered our underwriters and analytic teams with actionable information to improve risk selection and portfolio performance.” says Jen Klobnak, Senior Vice President, Risk Services at RLI.

SpatialKey’s underwriting solution, designed collaboratively with RLI underwriters, integrates directly with RLI’s property submission management system, creating a seamless underwriting workflow and empowering underwriters with the right information, right now. Further, each prospective risk is evaluated in the context of weekly snapshots of RLI’s portfolio, enabling underwriters to leverage the best data available – their own portfolio, analytic, and experience data – and leading to competitive advantage.

“We are excited to partner with RLI to deliver on the demands of its exposure management and underwriting operations and to identify new opportunities to deliver new analytic innovation to the benefit of the insurance industry.” says Bret Stone, Chief Operations Officer at SpatialKey.

About SpatialKey

SpatialKey is a leader in insurance analytics and visualization, delivering real business value via purpose-built applications. SpatialKey Insurance Intelligence integrates industry-leading data solutions with an unmatched user experience and differentiated geo-spatial and business intelligence capability. Through speed-of-thought analytics and agile visualizations, SpatialKey helps insurers understand risk accumulations and composition, respond to live catastrophe events, and manage exposure proactively at the point of underwriting. As insurers innovate to deliver value to their customers and seek to optimize their risk portfolio, SpatialKey will continue to work with them to deliver revolutionary analytics. For more information, visit www.spatialkey.com.

About RLI Insurance Company

RLI, a specialty insurance company, offers a diversified portfolio of property and casualty coverages and surety bonds serving niche or underserved markets. RLI operates in all 50 states from office locations across the country. RLI’s insurance subsidiaries – RLI Insurance Company, Mt. Hawley Insurance Company, RLI Indemnity Company and Contractors Bonding and Insurance Company – are rated A+ “Superior” by A.M. Best Company. For more information visit the corporate website at www.rlicorp.com.

Posted in Insurance, Visualization, Underwriting, Analytics | Leave a reply