A new cladding dataset has been developed to enable insurers to better understand property risk across their policy portfolio and drive more accurately priced, instant quotes for new insurance applications.
Insurtech firm WhenFresh said it has launched its cladding dataset – a result of a major project started in 2020, initially involving a wide range of remote inspection tools and data sources such as satellite imagery, drone footage, and building and planning records, among others.
This was subsequently enhanced on an ongoing basis by physical surveys and other inputs, all examined by a group of over 600 qualified surveyors from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Following six months of in-market testing with a group of existing clients, WhenFresh has launched the unique dataset to the wider market, providing property-level cladding data for each of the 485,234 properties within multi-dwelling units (MDUs) of 18 metres or more in height throughout the UK.
The surveyor team used their expertise to assign each property within these MDUs to one of three categories:
This means that mortgage lenders, insurers, local authorities, central government, housing associations, asset managers, and other parties are now able to readily access this cladding data, alongside any other property data attributes they may need from WhenFresh in real time.
While key property risk factors such as flood and subsidence have routinely been assessed when deciding whether to offer mortgages or how to price insurance premiums, cladding simply wasn’t something that anyone considered. This is why little or no information about cladded buildings had been captured before WhenFresh’s cladding dataset project.
“We’re delighted to be able to bring this cladding dataset to market, alongside our existing property data assets, not least as it provides key risk insights into these 485,234 properties which are jointly worth in excess of £50 billion,” Mark Cunningham (pictured), co-founder and chief executive at WhenFresh, said.
“There are obvious applications for mortgage lenders and insurers of course, but we’re already seeing interest from local authorities, central government, housing associations, asset managers, and other sectors too.”