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Insure smarter with real ground insights

Oct 2022

Learn how up-to-date aerial images from Nearmap streamline every stage of the insurance policy lifecycle, including claim validation and policy renewal.

Oct 2022

From claim validation to policy renewal, location intelligence and aerial imagery from Nearmap can help you streamline every stage of the Insurance policy lifecycle. We chatted with Eric Eckert, Director of Insurance at Nearmap to hear the benefits of premium, high-res aerial imagery for insurers.
See first-hand some recent captures from floods across Queensland and NSW, part of Nearmap ImpactResponse — our official post-catastrophe program which provides access to high-resolution imagery within days following extreme weather events.

What kinds of data and insights can insurers gain from aerial imagery?

The core thing that all carriers are looking for is to make a decision. A decision has to be made based on your best efforts to understand the truth and in the case of Nearmap, the truth on the ground.
Nearmap can show insurers what is happening with a property now, and what has historically happened, tracking change in near real-time. From imagery to location intelligence to post-event data following a catastrophe, Nearmap covers the full spectrum of data that insurers need. This data has relevance across every stage of the policy lifecycle.

Who in the insurance field do these insights affect most?

Well, insights from our data help those in quoting, underwriting, claims management, post-catastrophe management, risk modeling and pricing. Essentially, the data Nearmap offers has application across the whole lifecycle.
Those focused on repair and rebuild can leverage our data, even down to a recent customer in marketing, who was attempting to determine the correct audience for marketing a policy. We have the current property intelligence all insurers need. If an insurer doesn't want to underwrite a property with a trampoline, swimming pool or solar panel, we can show them properties that meet that risk profile with our AI image data layers, saving a lot of time on physical inspections.

What is the advantage of a subscription-based premium imagery service over free satellite imagery?

There is a difference between the truth offered by these two imagery types. Think of the imagery marketplace as an inverted wedding cake, the top is satellite imagery, where yes, coverage is pretty broad and you may be able see your property with no problem, but with traditional satellite providers the quality levels are lower and images are blurry.
The fine details are critical, especially for an insurer so they can do things like measure roof pitch and area. Go further down in this inverted cake and you’ll find the sweet spot in the aerial imagery space. Where satellite offers imagery at a 20-50cm resolution, allowing me to see a house, the 5.5-7.5cm resolution offer by Nearmap allows me to count the number of tiles on the roof of that house.
If you’re trying to understand the condition of the property, aerial imagery lends us a fine grain over our friends in the satellite space.

How are we different than drones?

The drones are at the bottom of the cake. Drone resolution is even more fine grain than aerial imagery, but the big difference between us and drone is coverage. Coverage for a drone is wherever they fly it. The resolution will be amazing, however you won’t find great coverage. The pilot will capture wherever paid to do so as a drone is hired for a single point in time analysis.
At Nearmap, we update our imagery frequently, capturing major areas across Australia, North America and New Zealand up to 6 times in any given year. And with our ImpactResponse program, we aim to capture every disaster — as soon as conditions clear.

Why is it important to find an enterprise-grade solution for imagery?

An enterprise-grade solution provides the reliable partnership insurers require. From scaling to their needs to providing the always-on, always-functional access to the most important property insights.
One thing that comes up with clients is coverage, but not just coverage, the timeliness of the coverage. We’ve been collecting data since 2009, so you could literally go to a major city where we collect up to 6 times a year and see up an abundance of captures. Also, finding change over time involved with any particular property.
Other providers won’t give you that rich library of imagery and the ability to understand change over time as it lacks frequency. You may find something less than a year old, but it’s not guaranteed. Our customers are in the quest to find the truth on the ground. They find that with Nearmap.

Is there anything we didn’t cover that you think Insurers need to know about Nearmap?

We’re more than just imagery. We’re equally as good at providing property intelligence through artificial intelligence (AI) driven data. When considering data-driven models and the accuracy of property intelligence, it’s always driven by the timeliness and precision of the underlying data. You can’t feed these machine learnings to produce optimal results without the most accurate data.
This accuracy relies on both the volume of data, and the quality of it too. We control our pipeline, from capture to publish, and our data is consistently high-quality and high-resolution, captured over many geographies across various points in time. This frequency and quality is ideal for driving machine learning with.
You find with insurance that customers have a high appreciation for the imagery, but when it comes to automated processes, it’s the additional intelligence that drives decisions. It’s Nearmap imagery and accuracy, but also how this accurate data is used to derive true property insights and capture on-the-ground property intelligence. One insurer might be looking for a solution based on imagery needs but another may need one based on the property insights and AI variables they can gather, we bring the best of the both to the table.
Learn more about Nearmap for Insurance or explore Nearmap AI in depth.
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