Summer 2016 catastrophe wrap-up: Understand your exposure and prepare for future events

Posted on September 30, 2016 by Heather Munro



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With hail, hurricane, and wildfire seasons in full swing, summer is always a busy time for claims adjusters. This past summer was no exception, with several major events happening across the globe.

While California battled multiple, simultaneous wildfires, Hurricane Earl caused mudslides in Eastern Mexico. A tropical storm dropped 30 inches of rain in parts of Louisiana, which experienced its worst flooding since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The picturesque Italian town of Amatrice was completely destroyed by a magnitude-6.0 earthquake. Most notably, Canada experienced one of the insurance industry’s costliest wildfire events when the Fort McMurray wildfires spread rapidly and caused $2.5 billion in insured losses.

From June to August, 10 different weather disasters each caused more than $1 billion in losses in the U.S., according to CBS News. In addition, Swiss Re reports that global insured losses for the first half of 2016 reached $31 billion, which is 51% larger than the same period from last year.

With so much activity, you were undoubtedly busy determining your exposure to these events and sending adjusters into the field to assess damage and pay claims as quickly as possible. Now that summer is officially over, it’s a good time to look back at these events to examine your losses sustained, improve your claims response efforts, and identify potential loss drivers to better mitigate future claims costs.

Assessing the impact, thinking ahead

No matter if it’s a flood, hurricane, or wildfire, your first priority during an event is to respond quickly to your insureds. Visualizing which of your policyholders are affected within flood footprints, hurricane paths, and wildfire extents is the starting point to getting the information you need to take action.

During the active summer event season, SpatialKey clients used our event response apps, which integrate data from a variety of third-party providers, including KatRisk, JBA Risk Management, Impact Forecasting, Willis Re, NOAA, GeoMAC, and USGS, to manage their claims response efforts quickly and efficiently.

Not only did clients use our apps to understand events as they were happening, they learned valuable insights about their portfolio performance which they can now use to prepare for future events. With SpatialKey’s geospatial insurance analytics, you can compare your actual claims against forecasts, understand the drivers of loss by looking at hazard and location characteristics, and determine if changes are necessary to your underwriting guidelines.

In addition, you can perform a “what-if” analysis to see how a past event would impact your portfolio if it were to strike today. Sharing a snapshot of what you discover with your exposure management team will give them the data they need to determine appropriate actions to maintain or build a resilient portfolio.

Summer’s end may mean the end of hail season, but as you know, weather patterns are far from predictable. Wildfires continue to burn in California. In addition, hurricane season, which will run through November, could still bring plenty of wind and flood damage. SpatialKey’s Hurricane Forecasts and Past Hurricane Scenarios are always available and up-to-date to  help you prepare for the next tropical storm or hurricane.

Now’s the time to look back at what happened this summer, so you can proactively adjust your underwriting strategies and be prepared to take action during the next big event. To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you better understand and respond to events to reduce your claims costs, contact us today.
Posted in Wildfire, Hurricane, Event Analysis, Flood, Hail, Event response | Leave a reply

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

Posted on October 18, 2015 by Sarah Stadler


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.


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.


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


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

Evaluate the Impact of Winter Storm Juno

Posted on January 30, 2015 by Monique Nelson


Winter Storm Juno arrived in the Northeast U.S. on January 27th. With significant flooding and increasing concern of potential roof collapse, insurers want to be adequately prepared to respond to this historic, mid-season snowfall. Areas like Worcester, MA, which saw historical snow accumulations of 35 inches, will be top of mind for insurers as forecasters suggest that this is likely the first of many storms to hit the region in the coming weeks.

For many insurers, quickly estimating the impact of each storm and deploying assistance to insureds are key differentiators. SpatialKey immediately responded with client access to snow precipitation maps from NOAA, delivered within SpatialKey’s Flood Analyst app, to provide immediate insight! Now, exposure management and claims teams can estimate the impact of heavy snowfall, manage stakeholder expectations, and mobilize efforts to assist insureds.

Leverage real-time snow precipitation data from NOAA (image above)

Understand potential exposure to heavy snowfall (image above)

Insurers can easily assess and interrogate portfolio exposure and composition by location count, total insured value, exposed limit and any other metric of interest. Analysts can also effectively communicate between teams and senior management via shared dashboards, leading to prompt action and results.

Identify insureds most vulnerable to damage (image above)

With SpatialKey Flood Analyst, insurers can gain a comprehensive view of exposure before claims even start to come in! When a natural disaster hits - blizzard, flood, earthquake, hurricane, or tornado - SpatialKey is the fastest way to understand how you could be impacted.

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

Evaluate the impact of recent snowfall in the Northeast U.S.

Posted on November 25, 2014 by Bret Stone


With SpatialKey, insurers can quickly assess their potential exposure to the recent snowstorm in the Buffalo, NY area on November 21st. With increasing concern of potential roof collapse and flooding due to rising temperatures in the coming days, insurers want to be adequately prepared to respond to this unprecedented snowfall.

SpatialKey’s Flood Analyst app directly integrates NOAA’s real-time snow precipitation maps to deliver immediate insight to insurers! Now, exposure management and claims teams can estimate the impact of heavy snowfall, manage stakeholder expectations, and mobilize their efforts to assist insureds.

Leverage real-time snow precipitation data from NOAA
Leverage real-time snow precipitation data from NOAA

Understand potential exposure to heavy snowfall
Understand potential exposure to heavy snowfall

Insurers can easily assess the magnitude of portfolio exposure by location count, total insured value, exposed limit and any other metric. Using flexible filters, they can focus and prioritize their response by business segment, risk characteristics, individual policies, and/or locations. Further, analysts can effectively communicate between teams and senior management via shared dashboards, leading to prompt action and results.

Identify insureds most susceptible to damage
Identify insureds most susceptible to damage

Because SpatialKey is data agnostic, insurers can couple any expert content with SpatialKey’s intuitive workflows and rich analytics to derive real-time insights and enable faster, better decisions. In this case, insurers can leverage NOAA’s snow precipitation data within SpatialKey Flood Analyst to gain a comprehensive view of exposure before claims even start to come in.

When a natural disaster hits, whether that’s a snowstorm, earthquake, hurricane, or tornado, SpatialKey is the fastest way to understand how your exposure could be affected.

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

Analyzing Your Exposure Against the 2014 South Napa Earthquake

Posted on September 11, 2014 by Doug McCune


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.


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


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.


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

Understanding the Impact... Illinois Tornadoes 11/17/2013

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Rebecca Morris


To help businesses respond to the devastating tornadoes experienced across Illinois on November 17th, Willis Re has made preliminary footprints of the tornadoes available to SpatialKey clients free of charge and without restriction. Other experts, like Weather Decision Technologies (see Moore, OK article), are also analyzing the scope and impact of this event, and their data can be provided upon request.

You can leverage expert intelligence to quantify the impact to your operations and customers in an instant. The Willis Re footprint data is available for immediate use via the SpatialKey Data Mart. Simply, select the tornado footprints and overlay insured data to quickly estimate your exposure and to evaluate response scenarios. These footprints can be analyzed in SpatialKey's Map Analyst and Severe Storms applications.

Compliments of Willis Re, the "Preliminary EF4 Washington Track 11/17/13" file (left image below) takes a closer look at Washington, IL, and the "Preliminary Tornado Tracks 11/17/13" file (right image below) provides a preliminary footprint of the 13 areas impacted by tornadoes on November 17th.

Additionally, within the Severe Storms application, you can visualize these tracks (in red and green) alongside integrated Storm Prediction Center reports available from the National Weather Service. Here, you have the ability to create your own storm track (in blue) and apply damage assumptions to estimate your potential exposure.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 12.50.12 PM

Visualize the impact in SpatialKey

With the footprint from Willis Re and analytics from SpatialKey, you can quickly quantify your exposure. SpatialKey has provided ready access to this footprint within the Data Mart, under the Featured section. Just pick the “Preliminary Tornado Tracks 11/17/13" and "Preliminary EF4 Washington Track 11/17/13" files to use in your analysis.

There are not too many locations in the direct path of the tornado for my dataset, but there is likely damage in close proximity to the path. To understand the impact within 5 miles of the swath, you can apply a buffer, which will include locations within that buffer in your analysis.

You can add analytic pods to understand the composition of those exposures, what claims personnel you may have responding already, and which business operations are most impacted by insured losses.

If you would like to build your own storm track and apply damage assumptions for different buffers around that track, you can use the Storm Drawing Tool in the Severe Storms app.

Screen Shot 2013-11-20 at 5.43.28 PM

With SpatialKey's easy-to-use visual analytics and Willis Re's tornado footprints, you can expedite the identification and quantification of your potential exposure and begin mobilizing your response. We hope this collaborative effort will help you deliver assistance and relief to those in need.


Posted in weather, Event Analysis, Analytics, tornado, Event response | Leave a reply

SpatialKey speaks to the value of its Insurance & Market Intelligence solutions

Posted on October 3, 2013 by Bret Stone


While calls haven’t been rolling in from Hollywood talent scouts [yet], the SpatialKey executive team is thrilled to have finally made their film debut! If you want to learn more about SpatialKey, the business application of its products, and its culture of innovation, take a look at our new product videos! You will gain more insight into the SpatialKey Insurance Intelligence and Market Intelligence solutions, as well as a general overview of the SpatialKey Platform.

If you don't want to wait for the link to load to our website, enjoy instant gratification here...

Insurance Intelligence
Whether you’re insuring individuals, businesses or other insurers, you need to make optimal use of your risk capital to enhance profitability and resiliency. You need efficient processes and the right analytics.

Through SpatialKey, you can exploit faster, better intelligence to ensure more satisfying experiences for customer prospects, higher underwriting profits, and reduced downstream costs associated with claims.

Exposure Management
SpatialKey delivers a full suite of unbiased, unprecedented visual analytics tools to empower your organization with risk intelligence that enhances both your resiliency and your bottom line.

Event Analysis
SpatialKey helps you evaluate and manage potential outcomes with unparalleled ease of use, calibrating your view of risk, enabling data to be shared across your organization, and accelerating your response to live catastrophes.

Market Intelligence
Whether your product is a good or service, serving the needs of a business or individual, you need to quickly evaluate market trends and opportunities, understand your customer, and mobilize your growth strategy. With SpatialKey’s unmatched visual analytics, you can quickly build a competitive advantage and accelerate decision making.

SpatialKey Technology & Innovation
SpatialKey gives you rapid analytics and agile visualizations to help you elevate your organization with enhanced insight and intuition.

If you would like more information, please contact us.

Posted in Insurance Intelligence, Mapping, Insurance, Underwriting, Event Analysis, Technology, Exposure Management, Sales & Marketing, Analytics, Market Intelligence, Event response | Leave a reply