Aon gets Zesty.ai for insurance underwriting
Aon has turned to San Francisco-based insurtech start-up Zesty.ai to bring some added power to its underwriting.
Zesty.ai will offer access to 130 billion data points on buildings and their surroundings which enable risk analysis and pricing.
The data is obtained via artificial intelligence (AI) on regularly updated satellite and aerial imagery and other data sources – without ever setting foot on the premises.
George deMenocal, president and US CEO of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business, explains: “Instant insights on risk are becoming an increasingly important element for insurers as they modernise their underwriting platforms.”
Jobay Cooney, senior managing director and head of insurtech for Aon, explains that Zesty.ai helps with “customer engagement, underwriting accuracy, inspection cost savings and post-event claims analysis”.
Using Aon’s distribution network, insurers can evaluate their portfolio risk through Zesty.ai’s wildfire risk model and also obtain high fidelity property insights for underwriting both catastrophic and attritional risk.
According to Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, the recent California wildfires resulted in insured losses of $16 billion in 2017 and up to $18 billion in 2018.
Aon reckons that historically, wildfire has been challenging to model; additionally, fire hazard severity zone maps tend to lack granularity on the physical attributes of properties, which can help insurance companies more accurately price each risk.
Zesty.ai’s new wildfire model (Z-FIRE) addresses this challenge by using machine learning to combine property details – including vegetation, building materials, topography, weather patterns among others – with actual loss data.
These factors at the individual property level create a predictive risk score, which provides a tool to evaluate risk. Z-FIRE complements Aon’s US wildfire catastrophe model from Impact Forecasting for reinsurance purchase and exposure management.