Breakthrough for insurers' catastrophe coverage

Breakthrough for insurers' catastrophe coverage | Insurance Business America

Breakthrough for insurers' catastrophe coverage

When a natural catastrophe strikes, no homeowner wants to find out that they didn’t have enough coverage to rebuild their property, and no insurer wants to expose their client to this risk.

To help insurers virtually assess a property’s exposure along with its condition and features, as well as survey post-catastrophe damage, CoreLogic recently announced that it has integrated the Geospatial Insurance Consortium (GIC) aerial imagery into its UnderwritingCenter virtual tool, making it the first underwriting solutions provider to fully integrate GIC imagery into its platform.

Read more: Why insurers and policyholders need to understand reconstruction costs

As a result, insurance clients now “have this imagery to look at [the property before a catastrophe] as part of their underwriting to assess it and make sure they get that insurance coverage adequacy,” said Rosanna Hancock, senior leader product and client delivery for CoreLogic, adding that aerial imagery also helps insurers to determine whether homeowners are taking care of their properties in advance of a weather event. “If there’s a hailstorm, [insurers can] make sure that there aren’t already pre-existing roof condition issues that are going to lead to that roof plane [damage].”

Should a natural catastrophe strike, GIC imagery is updated within 24 to 36 hours of the aircraft landing in the affected area (once it’s safe to fly over that region). According to CoreLogic, this is a faster turnaround when compared to other aerial imaging providers available in the marketplace today.

“Post-storm, there’s also a quick way in the UnderwritingCenter to be able to order a virtual survey and look at the area,” explained Hancock.

However, GIC imagery is not the only data available to insurance clients in CoreLogic’s virtual tool.

“Our platform is data agnostic,” said Hancock. “GIC is the latest to join the group, but there are other [aerial imagery tools] that we use that give this similar service to the insurance clients. The carriers can come to us and use whichever imagery provided they feel is the best for their business. Then, we can integrate them into the platform, and they can have a combination – they can have one or we really like to say, you have that waterfall effect, because one doesn’t have the best coverage everywhere and the best resolution. They complement each other, so using the UnderwritingCenter as the hub, we can provide all of this.”

Read more: Damage from past storms reveals the risks of tornado and hail activity

While aerial imagery is an important tool to employ following a catastrophe and in the lead-up to an event, the technology is also useful year-round in helping insurers cement a better customer experience.

“Insurance clients are going away from physically showing and up knocking on someone’s door [for inspections] and they really need an efficient way to not be intrusive to their insureds, as well as an inexpensive way to look at the risks,” Hancock told Insurance Business. “By using sources, like the GIC that has aerial imagery along with the CoreLogic virtual survey, we can really provide that solution to look at that risk and determine the property condition, or some carriers say ‘the pride of ownership,’ as well as to check the ITV, so the insurance to value.”