Repair and replace mindset 'no longer sustainable'

Tapping into technology for clearer data to assess client risk

Repair and replace mindset 'no longer sustainable'

Catastrophe & Flood

By David Saric

For the insurance industry to stay resilient amongst the heightened threat of climate change, innovation is needed, the founder of a property risk assessment platform has said.

“There are dramatic climate, economic, and demographic shifts reshaping the way insurance is provided and managed,” Betterview co-founder and COO Dave Tobias told Insurance Business. “The repair and replace mindset, by itself, is no longer sustainable.”

Instead, the insurance industry should be looking for newer ways to address pervasive concerns and use its wealth of resources to come up with effective solutions, according to Tobias.

“The industry has to look for new ways to be more competitive,” Tobias said.

Tobias and David Bairstow, chief product officer, insurance at EagleView Technologies, spoke to Insurance Business as Betterview and EagleView announced a “strategic alliance” that will combine its respective capabilities to help insurers to better understand a client’s property risks.

The former provides carriers with relevant information when writing policies for P&C clients, while the latter uses sophisticated technology to capture images, including at higher altitudes.

The partnership was described as a “natural extension” by Tobias.

“We can leverage the strengths of both parties to deliver a better solution for our customers and property owners,” said Bairstow.

Bringing a higher level of comprehensive insight

EagleView’s technology has been used for claims teams who are tasked with assessing the outcome of natural disasters and other damages to P&C clients.

Betterview wanted to expand on the benefits of aerial imagery and bring greater solutions to the insurance industry beyond the claims space.

“Adding our property data, condition, and risk scoring brings a much higher level of comprehensive insight to underwriting and catastrophe response teams,” Tobias said.

The pair said they hoped they could help find coverage for areas that have been traditionally excluded from P&C insurance products due to unfavorable physical conditions.

“Linking Betterview’s core tenet of transparency with EagleView’s unique imagery assets allows insurers to write business in areas they might not otherwise be able to, such as rural areas or wildfire and hurricane zones,” Tobias said.

“For underwriting that means fairer pricing based on a better understanding of risk and potentially expanded coverage,” Bairstow said.

Tapping into the benefits of preventative measures

The partnership comes as the insurance industry is exploring a predict and prevent model, which emphasizes methods and measures that can be adopted to mitigate a claim before it happens.

Betterview and EagleView’s capabilities include:

  1. AI detection: Access to property condition attributes, including roof age.
  2. Predictive risk scores: From roof conditions to weather-related perils and vulnerability.
  3. Historical image library: Nearly 20 years of historical imagery.

The parties’ image coverage now encompasses 94% of the US population with over 1 billion ultra-high resolution property images.  

“Insurers can protect more policyholders, help them avoid loss and disruption, or recover faster when a claim happens,” Tobias said.

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