GeoDecisions Insurance App Delivers Answers – without Maps (sort of)

Yes – geospatial technology is what we eat, sleep and dream about day in and day out. We’re all map geeks to some degree here at GeoDecisions, but it doesn’t mean that every solution we create requires the latest and greatest in web GIS User Interface (UI). In certain situations the best solution is a 20th-century one.

Case in point: the lowly E-mail. Yes, it is hopelessly out of fashion in view of most cutting-edge technology trends. But when it comes to listening to clients’ needs, “fashion” and “trend” should be the last thing when crafting a solution. The goal should be: communications in a manner that’s clear, comfortable and relevant to the user.

In the Beginning, There Was a Map

For years, GeoDecisions has provided its partners in the insurance industry a way to calculate potential storm damage, related to detailed weather event footprints. Users login to a GIS-based web portal and access specific weather events for analysis against their portfolio of policy data. Events can be displayed on the map, overlaid with policy data, and the system calculates the intersection and potential exposure from the event. The applications provide rich graphic detail and fine-grained control over what kind of events to select, and the estimated loss ratio for those kinds of events.

But while the tool provided an excellent way to do ad-hoc analysis of specific weather events of interest, the users soon realized the technology could be used for regular risk monitoring and reporting. What if this same platform delivered pro-active alerts to the company, regarding event risk on a regular basis?

Enter the E-mail

GeoDecisions staff partnered with the client and their users on designing a module to automatically deliver a summary of risk exposure, based on the weather events that occurred the previous day. This “Daily Weather Report” was designed to help facilitate the deployment claims resources and to communicate risk to upper management. Using detailed radar data provided by a third party data service, GeoDecisions created an automated process to deliver … a very, boring E-mail. With lots of numbers. And no pretty maps.

But this is precisely what the client needed: a regular, numerical summary of the financial risk incurred in the previous 24 hours. The module queries client portfolios of data, identifies exposed locations, creates a summary report and puts it all in an email. This mail is sent to a defined distribution list at a specific point in their workday – exactly when they need it the most.

Flexible For the Future

GeoDecisions designed the daily weather module to be easily customizable for different clients and circumstances. The types of events can be easily configured, along with a filter for the kinds of policies and exposure that is relevant to the risk analysis. And because the module lives in the Amazon Web Services cloud, it leverages the existing E-mail transport infrastructure there and can be enabled and disabled easily for seasonal storm reporting. The Daily Weather Report feature is just another example of how GeoDecisions applies GIS technology in unique ways - ultimately communicating the right information, in the right format, to enable the right decisions.