Whatever the Weather, Gain Deeper Intelligence on Property Risks

Tue May 28 2024


Shane McCabe, Insurance Strategic Account Manager, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, Ireland

It may not be a surprise to learn that Ireland experienced some of the wettest months last year, since 1941[i]. We’ve not just had rain though, storms have taken their toll and with summer approaching, the risk of subsidence raises its head again.  This all drums home the need for faster, more accurate and actionable data on environmental risks, at the point of quote for residential and commercial property insurance.  In fact, there is growing demand for this data from the broking community, MGAs and insurers.

It may seem a complex challenge but by utilising our geospatial data intelligence on floods, fires, subsidence, windstorms, and other local hazards, along with crime rates, the task of assessing the probability and cost of claims for a property as well as the risk exposure is made simple.  And most importantly, that knowledge can be gained in near real-time allowing decisions to be made that are not only fair for the customer but limit the insurance market’s exposure to a new risk such as a flood occurring.

Clearly, perils risks need to be understood in the context of the risk of the property itself based on detail such as its age, construction, roof type, number of rooms and so on. Then there is the risk of the proposer or policyholder to consider.  This is why we make it easy to view each of these factors in tandem, from one source, to gain a 360 degree view of the risk. That means right first-time quotes and products that are appropriate for the customer’s needs. For example, if it becomes evident that a property is at flood risk, then specific flood cover could be offered.

It is also possible to visualise geospatial data intelligence through tools such as LexisNexis® Map View. This gives greater clarity over the environmental and perils risks for a single address or a whole portfolio.  The advantages of this approach to risk assessment is that as well as facilitating more accurate pricing, it can support better resource planning for extreme weather events, and claims management.  It also gives insurance providers valuable insight on risk on cover to manage their capacity.  We know that when this tool is used for flood risk assessment, insurance providers typically cut their flood risk by half.

We are seeing the impact of climate change and severe weather events on loss ratios in the property insurance market. This is increasing the need for a deeper understanding of location and property risks. By leveraging real-time data, Brokers Ireland members can ensure precise pricing, appropriate product selection, effective portfolio management, and the ability to take immediate actions to mitigate exposures.

[i] https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/ea1f7-met-eireann-data-shows-2023-is-the-warmest-year-on-record-and-a-year-of-firsts-for-ireland/

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