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3 Ways Data and Analytics Can Help CIOs Prepare for Hurricane Season

Kirstin Marr, Head, Insurity AnalyticsKirstin Marr, Head,Insurity Analytics
Coastal and other hurricane-prone areas of the country are experiencing rapid population growth, attracting more inbound moves than other regions of the country. In fact, six of the top 20 growth cities in 2020 were in Florida alone, including cities like Sarasota, Daytona, and Pensacola. Along with these new residents came a surge in new construction. In March 2021, new housing starts hit their highest level since 2006.

With an active and record-breaking hurricane season fast-approaching, what does this shift in population mean in terms of risk for insurance organizations? Will the increase in new construction in hurricane-prone areas impact insurers’ operations? How can insurers continue to deliver high-quality customer service to their policyholders despite this risk, both during and after a hurricane?

As an insurance CIO, it is critical that your organization effectively prepare for more severe weather events – not when a disaster strikes, but now, before a hurricane hits. Your organization needs to be prepared to scale up to meet what could be a drastic increase in claims following a hurricane. Enhanced data and analytics can be your greatest tool in doing so.

Here are 3 ways you can use data and analytics to help position your organization for success and policyholder satisfaction during hurricane season.

1. Prepare for a Hurricane by Ensuring Your Organization’s Analytic Capabilities are Up-to-Date

As we begin to approach the peak of hurricane season, insurance CIOs need to assess what geospatial analytic solutions their organization currently has at its disposal. Insurers need to be aware of any limitations their analytic solutions may have now rather than later. For example, can your analytic tools automatically extract relevant insights from large quantities of data, or must your agents and underwriters still manually comb through data for insights?

Additionally, insurance organizations need to have a robust data and analytics solution that goes beyond public or open-source data and simple analytics. For example, your analytic solutions should be able to account for actual exposure and not just the number of properties or total insurable value (TIV. Actionable analytics that use the latest available data enable you to demonstrate the strength of your service when your customers need you the most.
2. Mitigate Risk During CAT Events with Real-Time Data Capabilities

Does your organization receive automated event alerts that notify you the moment your portfolio has been impacted? Insurers have a responsibility to serve their policyholders by using the latest technology available to its fullest extent – including data and analytics tools with real-time capabilities and alerts during severe weather incidents.

Data and analytics tools with real-time alerts allow insurers to be better prepared and better serve their policyholders when it comes to hurricane preparation and response. No longer should insurance organizations need to wait until after a hurricane passes to understand what has been impacted.

Insurers can be notified in real-time when their portfolio has been impacted by an event, including with enhanced analytics that provide details by account, location, hazard severity, and financial impact. Once notified, they can instantly initiate the necessary processes to help policyholders recover.

More and more insurers are starting to gravitate toward this type of technology as a means to mitigate quickly-evolving risk – not just during hurricane season, but during other severe weather incidents like wildfire, flooding, and hail.

3. Strengthen Your Event Response by Tapping Into the Power of Artificial Intelligence

Having powerful data and analytics solutions are helpful, but they may not be enough on their own during hurricane season. After a hurricane strikes, inbound claims volume can jump ten-fold and quickly overwhelm both your phone lines and your agents’ time. This negatively affects the policyholder experience, as policy holders are left on hold when they most need to file a claim.

Many of these inbound claims can be handled automatically and without taking up any additional time from your agents through the power of artificial intelligence (AI). Insurance organizations can entrust AI-powered tools to handle filing inbound claims, payment processing, and document requests without missing a beat during times of high-demand, like right after a hurricane. This ensures faster, more streamlined response to routine claims following a hurricane without requiring additional resources.

Let Data and Analytics Be Your Force Multiplier

Hurricanes and other natural disasters are predicted to increase in severity in the coming years. As people continue to move to coastal and hurricane-prone regions, insurance organizations need to be prepared to quickly adjust to the increased risk.

Through enhanced data and intelligent analytical tools, insurers can meet this growing risk of more severe weather events head on. Insurance CIOs become empowered to make more informed decisions that improve profitability, reduce expenses, and be more responsive and relevant to their policyholders and agents’ needs in this upcoming hurricane season.
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