Many insurance carriers are rethinking their property underwriting solutions—with good reason. Most current systems were created before the digital age, and it sure shows. They often require laborious and repetitious manual data entry and don’t easily share location information across the enterprise or resolve conflicts in location data. This lack of precision in underwriting data can compromise a carrier’s ability to accurately aggregate risks, leading to additional expense and loss at a time when hazards are growing.

Any new property underwriting solution needs to address these six key needs:

  1. Data precision and cleansing

Most carriers struggle with multiple addresses across different insured locations, and changing or new addresses. These lead to higher-than-anticipated environmental losses. A new underwriting solution needs to be able to cleanse addresses, provide accurate geocoding of parcels and buildings, and achieve very high fill rates and accuracy.

  1. Hierarchical data organization

Hierarchical data organization is indispensable for dealing with modern data sets. These systems organize data by group, parcel, building, and sub-building, making it efficient to pull exactly the needed data at exactly the time when it is needed.

  1. Geospatial data organization

This is a prerequisite for using the high-powered geospatial analytics that can power cutting-edge improvements in underwriting, as well as the work of actuaries and enterprise risk managers.

  1. Analytical consistency

The characteristics of each property model are unique. But with the right property infrastructure, carriers can support any kind of model, including R, SAS, and third party models. The trick is to build models as APIs and design them as fit for purpose within the workflow.

  1. Simplification and visualization

This is the antidote to the information overload that can often plague property underwriting. Modern workflow and visualization layers can design fit-for-purpose solutions that combine analytics and insights to seamlessly draw the underwriter’s attention to critical data elements.

  1. Support for emerging data sets

The explosion in data available to underwriters is not going to change anytime soon. Any new property underwriting solution needs to be future-proofed against emerging data sets from sources like drones, satellites, sensors, cell phone traffic, and even social media.

As you might imagine, creating a system that ticks all these boxes is no small feat. The Harvard Business Review has a very helpful briefing paper on mastering location data, available here.

If you’d like to continue the conversation about reimagining your property underwriting solution, I would love to hear from you. I can be reached here.

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