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Formulate a Stronger Hail Strategy with Betterview

Feb 2023

Betterview hail claim predictor uses regional hazard and property specific vulnerability to improve hail risk response for P&C insurers

Feb 2023

Since this post was originally published, Betterview was acquired by Nearmap. References to Betterview, the company, or its products have been maintained for historical accuracy. Betterview is now the primary solution for the insurance industry at Nearmap.
Betterview is pleased to announce the addition of Hail Risk Insights to our platform. Using these insights, our platform is able to analyze and monitor real hail risk for every property in your book of business. Hail Risk Insights combine high-quality aerial imagery, computer vision technology, and third-party geospatial data. The result for insurers is a comprehensive and actionable view of both area hazard and property-specific vulnerability to hail risk and losses.
As insurers, you do not need just another stream of data. Rather, you need tools that help you anticipate hail claims and expand your business in hail-prone regions, all the while providing superior service to your customers. This is what differentiates our approach to hail risk. Beyond providing data, we empower you to take immediate, strategic action through our individual hail scores and Hail Claim Predictor. Taken together, these insights and tools transform abstract data into concrete policy actions. Working with Betterview, you have all you need to formulate a successful response to hail risk.
Betterview and Guidewire set out to build a solution to existing pain points for insurers, not simply to throw data at the problem. To make this solution comprehensive and applicable to the real world, we needed to consider two key factors: hazard and vulnerability. Through exploring both concepts, we developed an approach to hail risk that is unique in the industry today.
Hail Hazard refers to the likelihood and intensity that a given area will experience a hail event. Properties located in the “Hail Belt,” therefore, will have a higher degree of hail hazard. There are many hail hazard datasets available in the marketplace today, from both public and private sources, such as FEMA and Guidewire HazardHub. It is important for P&C insurers to select precise and reliable hazard insights.
One of the strongest indicators of hail hazard in the industry is the HazardHub Enhanced Hail Score from Guidewire. This score goes beyond broad regional data and zeroes in on the hazard level of individual properties. Built on historical hail events and geospatial modeling, this is a predictive score that can inform you of the exact level of hazard for every property in their book. This score is fully integrated into our solution as a key component of hail risk.
Hail Vulnerability, on the other hand, refers to the survivability of a given structure during a hail event, regardless of the level of hazard. This part of the risk equation is not widely available in the industry, insurers do not have a holistic view of property conditions, and therefore are not able to accurately predict hail losses and act accordingly to prevent them. Detecting property-level vulnerability is the key function of our platform, which uses computer vision to analyze aerial imagery for specific attributes that contribute to hail vulnerability – attributes such as missing shingles, roof material, and roof staining. These attributes are selected based on historical hail claims dataset and are modeled into a single, transparent Hail Vulnerability Score indicating the probability of a claim for that property during a hail event.
So far, we have shown how the individual insights on our platform – related to both hail vulnerability and hail hazard – are transformed into actionable scores. These scores help you make informed policy decisions related to hail risk. But as long as they remain isolated from one another, these scores still do not realize the full potential of Hail Risk Insights. A property with an old, damaged roof might be highly vulnerable to hail damage, but if it’s in a low-hazard area such as Rhode Island, the overall hail risk is very minimal, and vice versa. Therefore, it is in combination that the scores become the powerful tool you need to stay ahead of hail risk.
Hazard insights from Guidewire HazardHub and vulnerability insights from Betterview are combined in the Hail Claim Predictor, a single, transparent, and actionable indicator of overall hail risk, and predicts the likelihood of a claim.  Our study shows that the combined Hail Claim Predictor is highly accurate in anticipating hail claims. Out of the 17,000 properties we looked at, the 10% of those with extremely high claim risk (score 1) have 3.14X the incidence of hail claims when compared to the entire sample. Insurers like you can use this Predictor to get ahead of hail risk during the underwriting process and use it for actuarial/rating purposes as well. Equipped with the all-inclusive Hail Claim Predictor, you can:
  • Optimize risk selection and rate segmentation, writing profitable business even in hail-prone regions. 
  • Automate underwriting decisions and workflows - single, easy-to-use indicator, available through HazardHub API, in the Betterview platform and API, and core system integrations (including Guidewire PolicyCenter). 
  • Proactively communicate with customers about their property’s hail vulnerability and mitigation steps. 
As weather patterns are becoming increasingly unpredictable, it is more important than ever for insurers like you to bolster the understanding of all perils, including hail. The peril insights from Betterview – including solutions for wildfire and hurricane in addition to hail – were built not just to increase understanding around peril, but to effect immediate, strategic action. Equipped with our hazard and vulnerability scores and the Hail Claim Predictor, you can act today to save a home from tomorrow’s hailstorm. Talk to the Betterview or Guidewire team today to learn more.