The insurance industry has had to deal with a variety of natural and man-made disasters this year. A new report examines how insurers can employ GIS to support underwriting, claims, and post-event analysis.
The report, “Location Intelligence Solutions for Insurance: A Solution Spectrum,” from Celent notes that while applications such as Google Earth have brought the visualising of geographic data to the desktop for all of us, enterprise-class GIS solutions must be tailored to the specialised needs of insurance companies. Catherine Stagg-Macey, Celent SVP, says the building blocks of a proper GIS solution include: address cleansing, core location intelligence, insurance specifics (risk accumulation, policy information), insurance data sources (often government or industry data) and tools that support catastrophe modelling. “There is a large swath of vendors offering GIS solutions to a variety of sectors all over the world,” the report states. “However, for a GIS solution to add value to the insurer, it needs to be able to store, search, and act upon the construct of an insurance policy.”
In addition to business advantage, the report notes that employing GIS may help insurers better handle upcoming regulatory changes, such as the Solvency II requirements in the European Union. Due to come into force in 2012, Solvency II will require insurance companies to model and hold sufficient liquid assets to cover the largest losses that could arise in any one area.