When customer and community homes, businesses, and infrastructure are in harm’s way, an accurate, speedy response is non-negotiable.
But for insurers, understanding the scope of the damage and managing the influx of claims immediately following a natural disaster can be overwhelming, particularly when access to the affected area is limited.
As a result, customers–already dealing with a highly stressful situation can become frustrated, and insurers left feeling powerless to help.
Effective claims response
With the right tools, insurers can deliver a quick and effective claims response to support customers when they need it most.
Repair and recovery efforts immediately following natural disasters can be expedited with priority access to inspection-grade imagery of impacted areas through post-catastrophe aerial captures,
Brent Hoade, National Aerial Damage Assessment Team Manager at Disaster Relief Australia, has experienced the impact of post-catastrophe aerial imagery first-hand.
He stresses the importance of access to fast, accurate and consistent data for organisations like his — particularly as Australia heads into bushfire season.
'Australia is a country prone to severe weather events, with conditions exacerbated by climate change,' he says.
'The 2020 bushfires were a prime example of this, wreaking havoc on communities and wildlife, and creating significant economic fallout.
'In 2020 alone, catastrophe-related losses were estimated at $5.4 billion–double the amount estimated in 2019,' Hoade says.
Disaster Relief Australia used Nearmap ImpactResponse to survey large areas in post-catastrophe situations and gain the clearest possible idea of what’s required for our disaster relief efforts.
'By accessing the location tools and data from Nearmap, we have the solutions we need to maximise our resources and deliver the greatest benefit to our communities,' Hoade says.
Meeting customer expectations
In a world of personalised digital experiences, insurers must meet customers’ increasingly high expectations around the speed and accuracy with which they respond after first notice of loss.
With the advantage of rapidly available post-catastrophe aerial surveys, insurers can access best possible property data and intelligence to quickly assess the condition of a property following a major weather event, without waiting to send an adjuster on site.
To help insurers provide rapid support where it’s needed most, Nearmap has made a commitment to capture aerial imagery following major natural disasters in Australia that have a significant impact on property, infrastructure, and communities.
So far in 2021, Nearmap has captured >6,200 square kilometres of disaster-affected land, including the NSW floods, the Wooroloo fires in Perth, and Cyclone Seroja, also in WA.
The validity of a claim
In addition, an instantly viewable library of historic imagery that documents change on a property over the course of several years can be a critical tool to establish the validity of a claim.
Insurance carriers can reconstruct a timeline of events with dated, timestamped imagery, and validate photos submitted by claimants to support an investigation.
Dr Rob Newman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Nearmap says customers report that aerial imagery, location intelligence and geospatial tools enable them to rapidly assess and understand the situation on the ground following natural disasters, at a time when ground access is limited, and inspection resources are stretched thin.
'At these critical times, Nearmap ImpactResponse equips organisations with a powerful first line of response following natural disasters.'
Providing the largest post-catastrophe coverage footprint in Australia, Nearmap has committed to covering ~15,000 sq km of territories affected by major natural disasters in addition to its regularly scheduled non-disaster related capture program, which covers more than 90 per cent of the Australian population.
With this knowledge at their disposal, insurers will be well-equipped to help customers get back on their feet after a disaster — faster.