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

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

Posted on November 19, 2013 by Rebecca Morris

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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.

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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.

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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

Map of May 20 and 31 Oklahoma Tornadoes with Population Density

Posted on June 4, 2013 by Doug McCune

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The past two weeks have been devastating for Oklahoma. Multiple tornadoes have touched down in and around Oklahoma City, causing massive damage and the loss of 42 lives. First, on the afternoon of May 20, 2013 an EF5 tornado hit Moore, Oklahoma. Then only 11 days later a series of tornadoes hit the same general area, striking El Reno/Yukon (to the west of Oklahoma City) and multiple sites within Oklahoma City (the western, central, and eastern areas of the city were all hit).

SpatialKey has been working to analyze the destruction of these tornadoes. Our data partner, Weather Decision Technologies (WDT), has created hand-drawn paths of the affected areas. These paths paint a grim picture of the destruction in Oklahoma. We've overlaid these paths on a population density map to allow us to understand how many people were impacted, and which strikes had the most effect.

View the map below or view a larger version.

Interacting with the map

At high zoom levels the map shows the storm tracks overlaid on a dot-density population map. Mouse over the storm tracks to see a tooltip that shows how many people and housing units are within that track.
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When you zoom in the map will change to show satellite imagery. The census blocks switch to colored shapes that are colored based on the population of that block. Mouse over those blocks to see a tooltip showing the stats for that individual census block.
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Estimated population impact

Overall we estimate that approximately 34,000 people were within the affected paths of these tornadoes. This is a rough estimate based on the intersection of the tornado paths with census data.

Affected area Estimated Population Date
Moore/Newcastle 9,000 5/20/2013
El Reno/Yukon 300 5/31/2013
West Oklahoma City 800 5/31/2013
Central Oklahoma City 17,500 5/31/2013
East Oklahoma City 6,500 5/31/2013

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About the map

The map shows the paths of the tornadoes overlaid on a population dot density map. The population data is from the 2010 US census, and is granular to the census block level. Each tiny dot represents a single person.

Red dots are used for people within the tornado paths, while blue dots are used for people outside the paths. By layering the population dots we can get a picture of population density. We can see that the tornado that hit central Oklahoma City tore through a populated area, versus the tornado that hit El Reno or east Oklahoma City missed dense areas.

About the data

The tornado paths for the storms on May 31 were provided by WDT and were hand-drawn by their meteorologists. The path for the May 20 Moore tornado was created by NOAA.

The population and housing data comes from the 2010 US census. The census data provides polygon block shapes with population counts and the number of housing units within each block. We have converted that polygon data to point data by filling the shapes with a random distribution of points, one for each person, throughout each individual census block.

The map also uses the Toner basemap from Stamen Design, as well as satellite imagery from MapBox.

If you're a SpatialKey customer, you already have access to the tornado path data, both from WDT and NOAA, which is available in the SpatialKey Data Mart.

Posted in weather, damage assessment, tornado, Event response | Leave a reply

Oklahoma Tornadoes from May 31st, 2013

Posted on June 1, 2013 by Rebecca Morris

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Following on the heels of the devastating Moore, Oklahoma tornado, a set of tornadoes touched down near Oklahoma City on Friday evening. Together with Weather Decision Technologies (WDT), we are able to provide access to hand-drawn storm footprints from WDT meteorologists based on the analysis of High-Res Level 2 Dual-Polarization Radar data.

Oklahoma tornadoes from May 31st, 2013 viewed in SpatialKey Analyst

Oklahoma tornadoes from May 31st, 2013 viewed in SpatialKey Analyst

This data is now available in the SpatialKey Data Mart under the WDT provider section. The file name is "Oklahoma Tornadoes 05/31/2013".

We hope this information helps you evaluate the impact of these events and to mobilize your response efforts to assist those in need.

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

Understanding the Impact (Part 2)... Moore, OK Tornado

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Rebecca Morris

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Weather Decision Technologies (WDT) and NOAA have provided additional resources to help you further understand the impact of the Moore, Oklahoma Tornado. These resources are now available immediately to SpatialKey users through the SpatialKey Data Mart. You now have the latest intelligence at your fingertips to quantify the impact to your operations and customers through rich, visual analytics in SpatialKey's Map Analyst product.

Estimate your exposure that may be subject to a total loss

Compliments of WDT, the Moore Oklahoma F4 Tornado - Estimated Total Loss Zone footprint represents a hand-drawn analysis based on aerial photography taken after the tornado. The shape represents properties that appear to be extensively damaged, potentially resulting in a total loss (to their best estimation). With a simple join in SpatialKey, you can identify and quantify your insured risk by TIV or Exposed Limit in seconds.

Evaluate your exposure in the context of wind severity

The Moore Oklahoma Tornado - NOAA Footprint data includes multiple buffers representing different wind severities, based on the EF Scale. Again, just simply join this data to your portfolio and quickly quantify the volume of exposure (TIV or Exposed Limits) by severity to apply your views of estimated loss.

Communicate and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders

As with all SpatialKey applications, you can leverage analytic pods to gain a better insight into your risk composition with supporting location and policy detail. These interactive dashboards can be instantly shared with stakeholders to independently ask questions of the data, reducing cycle time between units to enhance the quality and speed of service you can offer the victims of this catastrophe.

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

Understanding the Impact... Moore, OK Tornado

Posted on May 21, 2013 by Rebecca Morris

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To help businesses respond to the unfortunate tragedy experienced in Moore, Oklahoma on the afternoon of May 20, Weather Decision Technologies (WDT) has provided a preliminary footprint of the EF4 tornado free of charge and without restriction. SpatialKey has distributed this data to its insurance clients via the Data Mart for efficient impact analysis and mobilization of response efforts.

In the wake of this event, insurer's need to gain a complete understanding of their potential exposure and begin to deploy claims personnel to assist and protect their insureds.

Visualize the impact in SpatialKey

With the footprint from WDT and analytics from SpatialKey, you can quickly quantify your exposure just 24 hours after the storm. SpatialKey has provided ready access to this footprint within the Data Mart, under the WDT provider section. Just pick the "Moore Oklahoma F4 Tornado - May 20th 2013" file to use in your analysis.

Analyze your data by joining the tornado swath with your exposure.

Let's set up a join between your exposure dataset and the tornado swath in order to begin evaluating loss potential and response scenarios within a SpatialKey Map Analyst dashboard. Select to "Use the Point Locations" for the join - this will take the latitude and longitude coordinates from your geocoded dataset and place them in the context of the storm footprint.

After the join completes, view your exposure and the Moore Tornado in SpatialKey Map Analyst using the joined fields as filters to narrow down the exposed risks. For a refresher on how to use joined fields as filters, check out this article.

Buffer around the tornado track

There are not too many locations in the direct path of the tornado for my dataset, but there are likely damages 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.

Response time is critical... with SpatialKey and the tornado footprint from WDT, you are one step closer to understanding your exposure and to mobilizing your response to this event. We hope this solution will assist businesses in expediting the delivery of aid and relief to those impacted by this tragic event.

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

The Severe Storms app is ready for its first full severe storm season!

Posted on April 30, 2013 by Rebecca Morris

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Released last September, the Severe Storms app enables insurers to understand loss potential associated with live and historical U.S. tornado, hail, and straight-line wind events. To illustrate key features and workflow of the Severe Storms application, let's review its capabilities in the context of the April 19 storm outbreak in the Tulsa, OK area.

SpatialKey Severe Storms integrates with NOAA to pull the most recently reported observations directly from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Given the volume of SPC reports available each day, SpatialKey provides an advanced, yet simple, calendaring tool to help you target the desired set of reports.

To focus on just the Tornado events, disable the Hail and Wind layers. Use the histogram at the bottom of the screen to narrow your focus to just events within a specific date-time range.

Let's zoom in and draw a possible storm path for the tornados in the Tulsa, OK area. Use the storm drawing tool to visualize patterns in the reported observations and build potential storm swaths with just a few clicks.

Once a storm swath has been created, you can add several risk bands to approximate exposure and apply damage factors. Severe Storms will dynamically calculate loss potential for the entire storm footprint. Moreover, you can analyze the composition of the exposed locations using analytic pods and export a listing of locations that are potentially impacted to submit to your claims teams to respond to the event.

As claims data comes in from the field, you can calibrate loss estimates using a combination of exposure data for locations without a claim (so far) and claims adjustments for locations that have a claim in process. Note: dark blue points in image below represent all insured location, larger light blue points represent actual claims reports.

Based on early claims data coming in from the field, you can adjust the storm swath to more accurately represent my exposure in light of the new information.

To enhance customer satisfaction with an expedited response, you can use Severe Storms to locate your claims adjusters in the region and evaluate whether to deploy additional resources. Simply, add a dataset containing claims adjuster information and add custom circles to the map to track your coverage within proximity to the event. Each black circle on the map below represents a 30-mile radius from either a local office or mobile office. If claims start coming in from city of Tulsa, where there is a large concentration of exposures, you may need to set up another mobile office.

As new intelligence is available, you can quickly communicate the most up-to-date loss assessment to your management teams. This empowers executives to keep external stakeholders informed of the overall impact to the business and allows management to ensure customer satisfaction with an efficient and expedient response to the event.

Everything you need for your detailed severe storm analysis, together in a single SpatialKey Severe Storms dashboard!

Posted in Insurance, Severe Storms, Analytics, tornado, Event response | Leave a reply

Quickly Assessing Tornado Exposure

Posted on March 2, 2012 by Tom Link

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SpatialKey allows insurers to assess exposure to damaging events, including the tornados and straight line winds currently underway in the US. We're focused on making this easier than ever, so that insurers can gauge potential impact as quickly as possible. We've integrated with NOAA SPC's Event Report feed to not only visualize these event reports, but to provide a summary of an insurer's total exposure in proximity - in near real time.

Exposures in proximity to recent SPC Event Reports A SpatialKey dashboard of insured exposures within 5 miles of SPC Event Reports from the past 72 hours.

 

Exposures in proximity to tornado reports near the IL/KY border

 

Posted in Insurance, Analytics, tornado | Leave a reply

60 years of tornado activity, animated

Posted on April 24, 2011 by Tom Link

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Last Friday, an EF-4 tornado, the second-highest on the Enhanced Fujita scale, ripped through the St Lois Area. The twister caused significant damage to Lambert Airport and hundreds of homes. Miraculously, nobody was killed. According to the NOAA severe weather database, there have been 730 tornadoes of EF-4 or EF-5 scale between 1950 and 2010 causing 3,791 fatalities.

We took a look at this NOAA data in SpatialKey. Here's a timelapse of EF-4 and EF-5 events over 60 years.

Insurers and risk managers can use this rich dataset to better understand exposure and risk of their policies. Please contact us if you'd like to have this dataset added to your SpatialKey subscription, or learn more about our insurance solution.

Posted in Insurance, Analytics, tornado | Leave a reply

Rapid Event Reporting and Damage Assessment with SpatialKey

Posted on April 18, 2011 by Tom Link

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NOAA Event Reports for tornado, wind, and hail for April 16.

A recent storm system passing through North Carolina included 62 tornadoes, one of them passing through downtown Raleigh. As weather events like these occur, insurers gear up to assess damage and plan event response. This includes proactively coordinating claims response as well as exploring financial impacts.

Increasingly, third party data – much of it in the public domain – has the potential to help organizations understand these events more quickly and completely. However, integrating these external feeds with internal data – like insured locations – has been a challenge for insurers. SpatialKey addresses this challenge, enabling insurers to quickly see, explore, and analyze event data in context with insured locations – and to distribute that insight throughout the organization.

 

Within minutes of an event, insurers can see NOAA/NWS Event Reports in context with their insured locations. Tornado Event Reports near Insured Locations in Raleigh, NC:
Within minutes of an event, insurers can see NOAA/NWS Event Reports in context with their insured locations.

NOAA’s National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center provides near real-time Storm Reports for tornado, hail, and wind reported by NWS offices. These reports are brief messages that include a time, a relatively precise location, and a brief comment. There were hundreds of Tornado Event Reports on April 16, with comments such as “Over 30 homes destroyed along with a Lowes” and “27 buildings … destroyed on Union Ridge Road…”

SpatialKey can automatically consume and present these NOAA Event Reports in near real time. SpatialKey users can see these events on an interactive map that also contains other locations of interest, like insured locations. They can quickly report on locations in proximity to events, and filter to see only specific events or locations.

Check out this short clip to see more about how this works:

In addition to these preliminary Event Reports, NOAA provides a wealth of data related to damaging weather - some of it going back decades – which can be leveraged to drive better decisions, from underwriting and rating to claims fraud detection. SpatialKey aids by making this data easier to visualize, analyze, and integrate with existing business data.

To learn more about how SpatialKey can provide more horsepower to your event analysis, reporting and damage assessment procedures, contact us today.

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