Weathering the storm: Insurance and weather analytics

rapid-repsonse-peoples-trustWhen you work in insurance, staying on top of the weather and catastrophic events is forefront in your mind. In the U.S. alone, weather-related damage resulted in upwards of $50 billion in losses to the property and casualty industry in less than a decade. You need to be as prepared as possible so that when disaster strikes you are on the ground, helping people out and being seen helping your communities. With climate change affecting communities, however, the weather and onslaught of catastrophic events is becoming harder to predict.

By using a weather data feed to run analytics, you can use historical weather data to determine the likelihood of future events and plan tighter response protocols, and forecast data to alert your policy holders and get out in front of the event to help them. Here’s a couple use cases on how weather analytics can help you prevent losses and protect your policy holders:


Risk Scoring

Use of historical weather analytics can assist with better risk scoring when putting together policies. Using a weather data feed, you can view historical weather by the hour attached to post code – this will allow you to group claims against weather and determine the various factors that led to the damage. Some examples include: higher than normal precipitation and near flood plains, likelihood of ice storms and cold snaps, frequency of nearby forest fires, areas with high wind, proximity to likely hurricane landing zones etc.

If someone in the same area as those claims applies for a policy, or are from a different area that has a history of similar weather conditions, you will be better able to adjust the insurance premiums to account for it.


Severe Weather Alerts

Come hell or high water, you need to ensure your policy holders are alerted to oncoming weather events to give them a chance to protect themselves and their property. With live weekly forecast data, you can set up automated alerts so that when wind / precipitation level and type / temperature is going to hit a specified threshold, clients receive an automatic alert with tips to help mitigate damage to their properties and protect themselves. Examples include: making sure cars and homes are protected when hail or high wind is on the way, alerting store managers to upcoming icy conditions so they proactively salt, high temperature warnings for the elderly etc.


Catastrophic Event Response

When a catastrophic event is on the way, it’s important to ensure you get response teams out to areas that will dramatically affect your policy holders, and help the community. This could mean handing out clean water, first aid supplies, or battery chargers to ensure phones stay active during a power outage. You also want to make sure you are doing everything you can to mitigate damage to properties by visiting policy holders ahead of the event and offering advice and equipment such as tarps and sump pumps.

Using historical catastrophic event data, you can reflect on how you responded in the past against your losses to better plan for future events. You can also run simulations using the data from past events to help you better streamline your processes for the future. Then when a predictable catastrophic event is on the way, you can use what you have learned and get out in front of the event, preventing damage, providing goodwill and hopefully saving lives and money in the process.


If you work in insurance and want to perform weather-based analytics, learn more about implementing weather into your analytics framework by owning a weather data feed.

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