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Each landfalling hurricane is unique and brings with it much more than the hurricane itself: inland flooding, wind, storm surge, hail, and even tornadoes. Beyond the loss exposure, insurers must deal with operational and organizational strain. It’s a season when, perhaps more than any other, insurers need to have their proverbial “ducks in a row.”

With the 2020 season forecasted to be above average, now is the time to prepare for the possibility of the worst. The aggregated payouts from heightened tropical cyclone/hurricane activity in 2017, 2018, and 2019, accounted for 36 percent of the last 20 years’ worth of payouts for the peril—and 12 percent of all payouts for all perils since 2001. That is staggering to think about. On top of potentially increased cyclone activity, insurance organizations are dealing with trying to process and operationalize a higher volume and quality of hazard data files, putting an enormous strain on in-house data teams.

At Insurity, we’ve been helping our insurance clients tackle the challenge of operationalizing sophisticated hazard data and transforming it into a format that means something—a task that is universally hard for re/insurers, MGAs, and brokers alike. Even with a dedicated GIS team, insurers still struggle to keep up with massive streams of hazard data—not to mention trying to make sense of it for actionable insight. This task of operationalizing data, such as surge, wind, and flood event footprints, becomes ridiculously complex and time-consuming—right when you have no time.

Now is the time to use the hurricane learnings from last year to get your event response operations in order. Download our 2020 Hurricane Guide to learn how to:

  • Conduct a hurricane dry run to ensure operational success
  • Assess which analytics tools are must-haves for your organization
  • Evaluate which third-party data you need to have at your disposal
  • Avoid “analysis paralysis”
  • Turn around event footprints quickly and make sense of all the data

Use the following abbreviated checklists as guidelines for assessing your hurricane readiness


Pre-event: Best Practices
  • Know which systems house the most up-to-date view of your policies in force (PIF).
  • Assess your analytics capabilities and the tools you have at your disposal (e.g. Can you account for actual exposure, not just TIV?
  • Renew or expand data licenses and assess “on call” partnership needs.
  • Have a pre-approved contingency budget in place for data and analytics needs (e.g. Will you need post-hurricane flyover imagery to begin addressing business interruption or additional living expenses for policyholders?).
Has your team conducted a hurricane dry run? Get the 2020 Hurricane Guide to learn how to stress test with past hurricane events and much more.
During: Best Practices
  • Know where to go for regular hazard data updates, and how often to expect updates from various data providers.
  • Make sure you have the capacity and in-house GIS expertise to turn around event footprints and models as they’re available and get them into usable formats.
  • Consider your integration set up and APIs: With more sophisticated data flowing in, you need to know if your integrations have the capacity to keep up.
  • Use a geospatial analytics solution, such as SpatialKey Event Response, to help you “move the levers” and understand your sensitivity to model outputs.

Using our slider comparison tool, available within Insurity’s SpatialKey solutions, you can see KatRisk’s initial inland flood model for Hurricane Florence on the left, compared with the final footprint on the right. This prolonged flooding event lead to multiple updates from KatRisk, enabling insurers to gain a solid understanding of potential flood extents throughout the event—and well in advance of other industry data sources.


Post-event: Best Practices
  • Ensure access to post-event data (e.g. aerial imagery data may help you pinpoint potential claims and more accurately assess damage before claims are even filed).
  • Plan a debrief immediately following each event to assess what went well and where improvements can be made.
  • Evaluate the level of customer support and responsiveness you received during this time-sensitive event from various partners and solutions providers.
  • Conduct an end-of-season historical analysis/audit to understand gaps in your processes, analytics tools, data, and concentrations of accumulations so that you can spot trends and make changes prior to next season.


See more best practices and set your team up for success this season with our full Get the 2020 Hurricane Guide.