After tornadoes struck multiple states throughout the Southeast this past Easter weekend, the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC) began flying aircraft over the hardest hit areas on Monday, collecting high-resolution aerial images of the damaged structures. These areas include portions of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Monroe, Louisiana, and Seneca, South Carolina in the US.
Imagery from many of the damaged areas is now available to GIC members, giving insurers the ability to search an address and view before and after aerials images of properties within the impacted area. High-resolution aerial imagery provides insurers with vital information to better serve policyholders, speed up the claims resolution process, and aid in improved fraud detection. Additionally, GIC imagery is provided at no cost to emergency personnel, first responders, and law enforcement to assist in their response to the damage.
“Post-catastrophe damage assessment is crucial to recovery efforts following devastating tornadoes and other events like these. Impacted areas need to be assessed to ascertain how many structures have been damaged or completely destroyed,” said Richard Butgereit, director of catastrophe response, GIC. “It is our hope that by getting in quickly and assessing these efforts utilizing high-resolution aerial imagery, we can help speed up the recovery process for those effected by these events.”
Several years ago, the NICB started searching for solutions to help their members and law enforcement advance technology post-disaster, that lead to the creation of the Geospatial Intelligence Center Program that licenses high resolution aerial images from Vexcel Imaging US, Inc.
“Technological advances have improved in recent years, providing insurers the opportunity to leverage cutting edge technologies like the high-resolution imagery provided by the GIC to enhance fraud detection and expedite fraud investigations. The GIC program is just another example of how the industry is leveraging innovation to help fight fraud in the wake of a disaster,” said NICB chief operating officer Jim Schweitzer.