How The Insurance Industry Benefits From Mapping Technology

Improved data provides important insights in critical situations.

Insurance is a data driven industry.  First Base Solutions has tools that help you understand the current situation, avoid hazards, and forecast accurately using aerial imagery and spatial data.

Risk Assessment

Ever noticed how some intersections seem to be prone to accidents while other are not? Traffic volume is certainly a part, but so are the sight lines on curves and and hills. The latter is easily assessed from mapping and 3D digital elevation models, one of First Base Solutions’ products compiled from the stereoscopic properties of our high resolution aerial imagery. On the local scale, these models can be used to design the built environment in a way to mitigate risk. On the regional scale, many of the risks that must be assessed by insurers of homes and property have a lot to do with geography - proximity to waterways and floodplains, slope and avalanche risk, even characteristics of land use patterns can increase the risks from forest fires, for example. Such situational risk factors are most easily analyzed with the help of maps, satellite, and aerial imagery. Spatial data related to soils, elevation, land use or even demographic data in combination with records of historical catastrophic events, can be assessed through correlation and regression analysis techniques to quickly pinpoint the characteristics of where hot spots of catastrophic events have occurred in the past. With this knowledge, new areas with similar qualities can be identified as higher risk or even unsuitable for development altogether.

Damage Assessment

As major disasters are becoming the norm around the world, new, more efficient methods have been developed not just to assess risks, but also to assess damage after a catastrophe. Fast deployment is important for the management of claims, especially for events of a regional scale that affect many policyholders. The advantages of satellite imagery which are used extensively for this purpose are hard to ignore. Before and after views of devastated landscapes including detail of structural damage to individual properties can be ready in a matter of hours, illuminating the extent of the damage zone. The insurer can reasonably predict the location and number of claims from the imagery and similar nearby claims in the event of a widespread event. The satellite imagery can be applied not just to document the extent of damage, but is also an important tool to verify claims and cut down on losses from fraud and policyholder misrepresentation.

Decision Making

Satellite and aerial imagery offer the unique opportunity to assess areas that may be dangerous or inaccessible following a disaster. Visual comparisons of the conditions before and after a disaster make the situation on the ground simple to understand quickly. Digital mapping applications can be employed to automatically detect changes to ground features for users to focus on. Top level decision makers can know where to focus their agents in the field faster and with greater accuracy, something which is certainly appreciated by their customers waiting for service after an emergency.


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