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

Devastating earthquake hits central Italy: Respond now and plan for tomorrow

Posted on August 26, 2016 by Heather Munro

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Photo credit: www.independent.co.uk

 A magnitude-6.0 earthquake rocked central Italy early Wednesday morning, killing more than 260 people. Losses are expected to be below that of the 2009 L’Aquila event, which Willis Re estimated to have £502 million in insured losses. The quake could be felt as far away as Bologna to the north and Naples to the south, and devastated centuries-old towns where historic churches and monuments dot the landscape.

The picturesque village of Amatrice was particularly hard hit, with the mayor telling The Guardian that “half of the town no longer exists.” The town of L’Aquila, which lost 300 residents during the earthquake in 2009, has promised to take in the hundreds left homeless in Amatrice.

As your insureds in Italy focus on rescue efforts and begin the grim task of sifting through the rubble left behind, you can get a more complete view of your potential exposure—and market opportunities—throughout the region.

Understand and act quickly on the impact to your portfolio

Centered about 110 kilometers northeast of Rome and about 35 kilometers north of the deadly magnitude 6.3 earthquake that hit L’Aquila in 2009, the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia (INGV) estimates a magnitude of 6.0 and depth of 4 kilometers. Shallow earthquakes like these generally cause more damage, as was the case here.

To help you understand the extent of this and prior events, SpatialKey includes shakemaps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) global library of earthquake footprints, which show the impact in and around the epicenter. You can easily visualize which policyholders have been affected and begin mobilizing your claims team to respond as quickly as possible.

Willis Re is already providing insurance companies with an assessment of their potentially affected risks by providing event-response analytics with SpatialKey.

“We have been assisting insurers in visualizing the event and their insured risks that are likely to have been affected,” explains Tim Edwards, Head of Europe, Willis Re Catastrophe Analytics. “We have applied the latest USGS event footprint in SpatialKey to individual client portfolios. This enables the identification of potential policies impacted by the most severe shaking intensities, including net exposures after earthquake indemnity limits. This has allowed insurers to work with their claims teams, senior management, and reinsurers and respond in a timely fashion.”

The image below is an example of the types of value-added analytics Willis Re delivers to its clients to support their event response efforts.

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The epicenter was not within a major urban center, and losses from commercial and industrial facilities are expected to be low. Many Italian families, however, flock to the Apennines mountain region in summer, causing populations to double or triple this time of year—a seasonal factor that undoubtedly contributed to the hundreds of lives lost.

Following the quake, about 200 aftershocks rippled throughout the region, most likely causing more damage to many historic buildings because of shakes, fires, and landslides. Evaluating the impacted areas now to determine if the damage occurred from the initial and subsequent quakes will arm your claims team with the information they need to combat possible fraud in the coming weeks.

With risk, comes opportunity

As you wait for the dust to settle and the claims to begin coming in, you can use SpatialKey to easily display areas where past or future hazard severity may be indicative of loss potential. You can also get a better understanding of your potential exposure by portfolio segment, policy, location, or any attribute within your portfolio data.

Italy is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in Europe, and has documented at least 400 damaging earthquakes in the last 2,000 years. According to Axco, a recent Swiss Re report suggests that only one percent of private households have earthquake coverage, which is heavily limited.

What’s more, the 2009 L’Aquila earthquake made it clear that the Italian government can no longer act as the “insurer of last resort.”

In countries like Italy, it's important to visualize locations of older buildings because many were built before earthquake codes were in place. Savvy insurers looking for ways to pick higher quality risks are leveraging state-of-the-art tools like SpatialKey, and accessing multiple data sources to make informed underwriting decisions and write more earthquake coverage.

Now is the time to begin revising your underwriting guidelines to prepare for what could become a growing private insurance market. This latest earthquake may be just the catalyst to spur Italians to look for coverage—and you’ll want to be ready to write profitable business before your competitors.

To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you manage and grow your earthquake portfolio, contact us today. 

Posted in Underwriting, Earthquake, Event response | Leave a reply

Ecuador Earthquake: How SpatialKey Helps Insurers Respond

Posted on April 18, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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Photo credit: cnn.com. Photo credit: cnn.com.

The strongest earthquake to hit Ecuador since the 1970s, the magnitude-7.8 quake that rocked the country’s coastal region on April 16 has left at least 272 people dead, thousands injured, and several towns in ruins.

While damages from the initial quake, aftershocks, and subsequent fires are still being tolled, SpatialKey clients are able to support initial recovery and rebuilding efforts by focusing on providing relief as quickly as possible. Thanks to SpatialKey, they can quickly identify potentially impacted insured properties, formulate a response plan, and inform senior management about their potential exposure to the event.

Within minutes of the quake, SpatialKey clients had access to earthquake shake maps published by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which are natively integrated in SpatialKey’s Earthquake application.

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Using their property portfolio, SpatialKey clients can easily identify the locations and Total Insured Value and Exposed Limit at risk. And, with SpatialKey’s flexible filters, they can prioritize their response to key segments of their business, individual policies, and locations that were exposed to the most severe shaking.

In addition to being prepared to respond quickly to claims, they are able to quantify and manage their earthquake risk with an accurate representation of loss potential. Even better, they can continue to monitor their exposure in the area, which may be further affected by aftershocks, government response, and developing humanitarian efforts.

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.

Posted in weather, Earthquake | Leave a reply

Japan’s Latest Earthquakes Underscore Complexities for Insurers

Posted on April 16, 2016 by Sarah Stadler

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Photo Credit: Koji Harada/Kyodo News via AP. Photo Credit: Koji Harada/Kyodo News via AP.

Located on the edge of what's known as the “Ring of Fire”—a stretch of the Pacific Ocean prone to volcanoes and earthquakes—Japan is one of the world’s most quake-prone countries.

Last week’s 6.2 and 7.0 magnitude earthquakes—which occurred just two days apart— left nine people dead and thousands injured in southern Japan. Aftershocks continued to rock the area, with a tsunami warning issued for about an hour before being lifted.

For insurers, having a visual understanding of an earthquake's shake footprint, which shows the impact in and around the epicenter, sheds light on where to focus first—in Japan, the U.S., or across the world. And determining which policyholders have been affected can be difficult because debris can block access to the area. Not to mention that aftershocks can continue to cause structural damage from shake, fires, and sprinkler systems for days after the initial quake.

SpatialKey can help you quantify and manage your exposure to earthquake risk, plus identify insureds potentially impacted immediately following an event, so you can mobilize your claims team for the fastest possible response.

Proactively Manage Your Earthquake Risk

Seamlessly integrated with shakemaps from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) global library of earthquake footprints, SpatialKey allows you to evaluate the impact of an event. You can quantify your potential exposure by portfolio segment, policy, location, or any attribute within your portfolio data.

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Even better, you can also filter by ground-shaking severity (e.g. peak ground velocity, peak ground acceleration, and the Modified Mercalli Index) to see which locations are in the areas most likely to experience damage.

And, by using live event data from the USGS to formulate an event response plan, you can base your response on the most accurate data available, helping you mobilize claims personnel and track claims as they come in following an earthquake

With SpatialKey you can also:

  • Gain additional insights into the distribution and composition of your exposure data, measured by TIV, Exposed Limit, and other metrics.
  • Calibrate your view of risk and risk management strategy by evaluating loss potential against historical and hypothetical earthquake scenarios.
  • View each insured and its associated data in the context of the event—and share impacted exposures with claims and analytic teams.

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.

Posted in Earthquake, Event response | Leave a reply

What next? Assessing the damage after the M8.3 earthquake in Chile

Posted on September 23, 2015 by Sarah Stadler

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Last week, Chile was shaken by a significant earthquake along its central coast. According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, an estimated $600-$900 million in insured losses is expected.

Image credit: Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

How far does the damage spread?

This quake impacted a large radius surrounding where it struck with significant shaking felt in the nation’s capital of Santiago. Having a visual understanding of the magnitude of impact in and around the epicenter helps our clients know where to focus first. Our Earthquake app provides insurers with near real-time intelligence via shakemaps from the U.S. Geological Survey, so they can easily see and quantify the potential exposure from the event and associated aftershocks and make the most informed decisions for their customers and business.
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Get in touch today. We’ll help you evaluate your exposure to the Chile earthquake, so you can effectively communicate the potential impact to stakeholders and expedite relief to your insureds.

 

Posted in Visualization, Earthquake, Event response | Leave a reply

Analyzing Your Exposure Against the 2014 South Napa Earthquake

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Doug McCune

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SpatialKey customers were able to quickly calculate potential exposure resulting from the 6.0 earthquake that struck near Napa, CA on August 24. The SpatialKey Earthquake App enabled ready access to earthquake shake maps published by the USGS within one hour of the quake, allowing our customers to respond quickly and confidently.

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North Shore Management, a MGA with specialization in writing E&S earthquake and flood risk, used the Earthquake App to respond to the event:

"SpatialKey's cutting edge mapping ability allowed us to assess our exposure and identify exact locations of a possible loss within hours of the event. With this information, we were able to provide immediate feedback to our clients, which is invaluable to us after an earthquake."

- Deke Emmerich, President of North Shore Management

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SpatialKey customers were able to quickly see the number of locations and total insured value at risk. Using flexible filters, they focused and prioritized their response on key segments of their business, individual policies, and/or locations that were exposed to the most severe shaking.

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Commercial insurers were also able to quickly understand their exposure, net of policy coverages, providing a more accurate representation of loss potential, before the claims even start coming in.

When a natural disaster hits, whether that's an earthquake, hurricane, or tornado, SpatialKey's event analysis suite of apps are the fastest way to understand your exposure.

Posted in Insurance, Event Analysis, Earthquake, Event response | Leave a reply

Introduction to our Earthquake App

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Tom Link

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We recently announced the commercial availability of our Natural Perils Suite. Each of the apps in the suite are designed to more easily put hazard data into perspective for users throughout an insurance company from risk, portfolio, and claims managers right up to the C-suite.

Our Earthquake app integrates with the USGS's ShakeMap program to allow an insurer to quickly determine the shake intensity of locations in a portfolio following an event. Additionally, an insurer can select from historic quakes or various earthquake scenarios. We think this is about the fastest, most visual, and easiest way to:

  • Quickly reference an earthquake footprint, banded by shake intensity, in context with a portfolio.
  • See the number of locations, and total insured value, in each shake intensity band.
  • Analyze shake intensity by MMI, PGA, or PGV values.
  • Export a list of impacted locations with shake intensity values appended.
  • Easily and interactively share all of the above with other members of their organization with saved dashboards.

Seeing is believing. Here'a a quick demo of the Earthquake App:

The Earthquake App is a great example of SpatialKey's ongoing effort to provide solutions for the insurance industry that put hazard data in context with an insurer's portfolio to make better informed decisions more quickly and collaboratively than previously possible.

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

Rapid Earthquake Exposure Assessment - Virginia Quake

Posted on August 24, 2011 by Tom Link

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A 5.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Virginia, a rare occurrence for the east coast.

Following events such as earthquakes, property insurers rush to assess potential damage. Within moments of an event, SpatialKey's Earthquake Impact app - part of our new Natural Perils suite - allows insurers to see potential impact of an earthquake on their portfolio.

This quake's epicenter was about 40 miles northwest of Richmond. As you can see, only 3 properties in our sample portfolio fell within areas of an MMI shake intensity of 5 or higher, with a total insured value under $300k.

SpatialKey automatically obtains event data from USGS Earthquake Hazard Program's ShakeCast system, and identifies which properties were exposed to which shake intensities. All if this is done without any IT intervention on the insurers part, meaning that users throughout the company can gain access to this information instantly, without bottlenecks or hassle.

The Earthquake Impact App, and the Natural Perils Suite it is a part of, are in beta with select customers. If you're interested, please contact us for more information.

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