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Property Data for Insurers: A Must Amid Growing Natural Disasters

Natural disasters are a growing concern for property owners — and their insurers should be equally worried. According to the Insurance Information Institute, losses from natural catastrophes topped $160 billion in just 2018 alone. In total, last year saw 850 disaster-level events worldwide.

And the U.S. certainly hasn’t been immune to these happenings. In just the past three years, we’ve seen countless hurricanes (Houston’s Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, to name a few), immense flooding, weeks of damaging wildfires, and just recently, massive earthquakes along the coast.

For property insurers, this trend should be worrying, at best. At worst, it should be a case for added vigilance in the risk assessment process.

What It Means for Insurers

The bottom line is simple: In light of growing environmental events, insurers need to be extra vigilant about just what they insure and for how much.

And this extra vigilance? It can’t exist without robust data. In order to thoroughly assess a property’s risk, insurers need all possible information at their fingertips — that means recent hazardous events, local man-made health hazards, an area’s history of hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, etc., and much, much more. Essentially, they need to know the past, understand the present and, ideally, predict what could (and is likely to) happen in the future.

Fortunately, property data — either in bulk form or via a customized API — can offer many of these insights, making it easier for insurers to discover if a property is:

  • Located in a flood zone
  • At risk for hail or hurricane damage
  • In a region with poor air quality or high-UV index
  • Vulnerable to earthquakes, sinkholes or landslides
  • Exposed to radon or other toxins

The right property data can even shed light on risky man-made health hazards, like brownfields, high pollutants, meth labs, hazardous waste sites, chemical spills or underground storage tanks that could present future risk.

 More Than Just Risk Assessment

Obviously, property data can help with the initial risk assessment process, but it can also give insurers additional leverage elsewhere. For one, it can offer more ammunition in negotiations, resulting in a better deal and more revenues on the whole. It can also better protect insurers against loss and provide predictive insights for currently insured properties.

Are you interested in using property data to power better risk assessments at your firm? Contact ATTOM Data Solutions today.

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