Public Sector Risk Financing Perspectives – Sharing Visual Intelligence for Disaster Response: Part I
Dr. Beverley Adams, Head of CAT Planning and Response
As governments and emergency responders focus on search and rescue in the hours and days following catastrophic events, the (re)insurance industry is autonomously responding with visual technologies for loss assessment.
New and evolving capabilities are driving growth in the role of drones, satellites and aircraft. In cases where the extent of damage is clearly understood, such as total loss, imagery facilitates speedier claims payments and identifies when and where on-site adjustment is warranted. By rapidly assessing the post-event situation and identifying damaged buildings, insurers are able to expedite initial relief efforts by approving alternative accommodations and interim payments for homeowners and businesses. The overall recovery process is enhanced as triage guides the deployment of appropriate skills to the site. The gathered intelligence is also being collated and used to inform and enhance future modeling and mapping efforts.
The (re)insurance industry is working to realize the full potential that technology offers in assuring a proactive response to major loss events. Sharing of disaster event information between insurers and government is in its infancy; we see the potential benefits that timely imagery intelligence may bring to a government firefighting operation working “blind” in the frontline of a rapidly evolving disaster zone.
Flood Re, the new reinsurer established through industry and government collaboration, is a leader in visual intelligence deployment during flood surge and catastrophe events. The organization, working with Guy Carpenter, is establishing a 24 hours/seven days a week national flood response capability for insurance. Drones, satellites, aircraft and field teams can be deployed to produce detailed footprints of the flood impact zone in order to estimate losses and the number of claims. The level of anticipated disaster impact triggers the response activation and agreement on a mission plan to cover all areas of impact. This market-leading initiative sets a new benchmark for catastrophe planning and preparedness.
The gathered visual intelligence information will ultimately form a shareable and valuable source of knowledge to inform catastrophe resilience measures and response operations, and benchmark levels of future financial commitment for risk mitigation efforts.