In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, what could be one of the costliest natural disasters in our nation’s history with over $37 billion and growing in insurance loses, insurance companies are doing a test run on some new technology. Insurance companies like Allstate are using the newest in hi-tech technology hoping to smooth the generally trying claims process for both the company and the insured.
Using ultra hi-definition cameras attached to helicopters, insurance companies are able to capture images of the damages. These images are then compared to aerial images taken last year of the entire United States. Through computer image processing, damages are transmitted into the system faster and easier than the usual in person processing. In the case of Harvey, Allstate has noticed this new technology has even allowed for the damages to be in the system before the insured even file a claim.
Harvey is also the first disaster where both the insurer and the insured are using drones to survey damages. This technology is ground breaking because it shows images in real-time and the companies can immediately survey the damage. This is assisting damages processing time to be cut in half and in some cases, repairs begin before the has set foot on the property.
Lockton Insurance, based in Kansas City, is using Eigen Prism a new disaster analytics tool which maps the amount of damages to their clients’ property. This technology was developed by EigenRisk, a start-up located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, helps to make data more meaningful for insurance companies. The Eigen Prism could forecast the damage path of Harvey and sent the information to Lockton. From there, Lockton’s customer service team was able to alert clients of potential damage to their property. As data came in, the system could then transfer the information for forecast to loss assessments. Jeff Tennis, manager of catastrophe analytics at Lockton, says, “…the tool is very flexible, looking at big storms like a hurricane, a major flood, tornadoes, climate change situations and just about anything relative to risk for a property.”
These great, new technology platforms are changing the way insurance companies work and do business for their clients. Now, in the midst of Irma, insurance companies and the insured can be certain the surveying and claims process will be a much smoother and slightly less stressful process.