Betterview Launches AI-Driven Roof Report to Identify Roof Condition & Characteristics

Using satellite and aerial imagery, the solution was developed as quick and cost-effective way to understand the characteristics and risks of a property and its roof.

(Image source: Betterview.)

Betterview, a San Francisco-based provider of a technology platform for drone- and data-based building and property inspections, has released Property Profile a solution that determines the condition and characteristics of a roof using satellite and aerial imagery, along with other data attributes, such as weather history. The vendor describes the new solution a quick and cost-effective way to get a deep understanding of the characteristics and risks of a property and its roof.  Property Profile leverages Betterview’s experience inspecting properties and their roofs using machine learning and drone imagery.

David Tobias, Co-Founder, Betterview.

“Over the last year, as demand for our drone inspections and reporting increased, many of our customers started asking us if we could help them to triage their drone inspections,” comments Dave Tobias, Co-Founder, Betterview.  “When we created Property Profile, its original use case was to help our users to identify policies that should be inspected by a drone.  After testing it with our customers, we started hearing about the value it could deliver throughout an organization. With this feedback we enhanced Property Profile by returning additional data sources, allowing for personal & commercial lines insurers to incorporate this information into their front-end and back-end workflows.”

Betterview describes the utility of Property Profile throughout the property across the insurance lifecycle as follows:

  • Quoting: Speed up and improve the accuracy of policy application data for more accurate quotes that convert at a higher rate.
  • Underwriting & Loss-Control: Quickly assess new business and renewals to identify roof problems, as well as determine when and where to send inspectors to improve the customer and agent experience while reducing costs.
  • Claims: Investigate property claims before sending an adjuster onsite by identifying pre-existing roof damage via Betterview’s multi-source historical image archive.
  • Catastrophe Modeling: Increase modeling accuracy by factoring in secondary roof characteristics along with assessor’s data.
  • Catastrophe Response: Analyze a portfolio post-catastrophe to quickly identify which policies are “full,” “partial,” and “no loss.”

Argo Insurance is among Betterview’s customers who are already gaining significant value from Roof Report.

Rooney Gleason, President of Argo Insurance-U.S. Grocery & Retail.

“Roof failures at a retail location are some of the most expensive we face as an insurer of supermarkets and restaurants,” comments Rooney Gleason, President, Argo Insurance – US Grocery & Retail, a unit of Argo Group (Hamilton, Bermuda).  “Beyond the obvious property losses, it can lead to food spoilage claims and significant business interruption claims. But what is often not discussed is that failing roofs often lead to costly third-party liability claims when customers have accidents as a result of poor premises maintenance. Betterview’s Property Profile helped us to uncover significant roof problems at multiple store locations that our customers were not aware of. This allowed them to address these issues with their landlord, or directly if they are the owner of the building, to reduce the likelihood of a roof related property and/or liability claim.”

Insurers can access Betterview’s Property Profile roof scores and characteristics via API or through Betterview’s platform by typing in an address or uploading an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file, the vendor says. Additional data points available with each Property Profile include property characteristics, historical weather, natural hazard risk, historical imagery, and more.  Some of the characteristics that Betterview’s computer vision technology can automatically detect include:

  • Roof Shape
  • Roof Material
  • Roof Damage
  • Tree Overhang
  • Ponding
  • Rust
  • And more

“Our goal is to make every building and property thoroughly understood,” comments David Lyman, Co-Founder, Betterview. “With artificial intelligence, we can now analyze raw data sources like aerial and satellite imagery and derive new data and insights from them, allowing insurers to find the right coverages and pricing for their clients.”

Betterview says it developed Property Profile in response to feedback from customers who wanted information about buildings and properties faster and cheaper. While decreasing costs have improved ROI for drone inspections, insurers are still limiting their drone usage to high ROI use cases. As a result, Betterview says it figured out how to answer most of the questions its customers were asking using pre-captured aerial and satellite imagery, along with other data sources like historical weather.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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