Cincinnati Insurance Company Adopts Zesty.ai’s Z-FIRE to Assess Wildfire Risk

Z-FIRE’s AI model has been trained on more than 1200 wildfire events across several decades and accounts for the individual property-level factors that contribute to wildfire risk.

(Image credit: EEJCC.)

The Cincinnati Insurance Company (Cincinnati) has signed a long-term contract to fully integrate Zesty.ai’s Z-FIRE across the Cincinnati Insurance portfolio. With Z-FIRE, Cincinnati insurance agents are able to assess wildfire risk using an AI model that’s been trained on more than 1200 wildfire events across several decades and accounts for the property-level factors that contribute to wildfire risk, compared to the regional perspective that legacy models rely on, according to a Zesty.ai statement.

“We knew we needed a modern solution to improve the accuracy of fire risk assessment, and while we evaluated several options, we were immediately impressed with Z-FIRE’s ability to provide precise risk scores for individual properties at scale,” comment Scott Schuler, VP of Product Management & Head of Personal Lines, The Cincinnati Insurance Company. “Z-FIRE empowers our agents with the insights they need to confidently offer coverage for homes that legacy models might deem too high risk, which increases revenue while simultaneously giving homeowners more coverage options. It’s a huge value add for our business—especially as it enables us to grow confidently in western states like California.”

Attila Toth, CEO, Zesty.ai.

Zesty.ai reports that, when assessing risk, Z-FIRE considers building materials, topography, historical weather data, and critically, factors extracted from high-resolution imagery like vegetation clearance and mitigation efforts, which legacy models fail to evaluate. It then combines these details with actual loss data to derive a predictive risk score, giving insurance carriers a much more accurate risk metric to inform underwriting, while taking into account many of the home hardening efforts taken on by property owners.

Better Understanding Natural Disaster Risks

“Five of the six largest wildfires in California history occurred last year,” observes Attila Toth, CEO, Zesty.ai. “As the costs of climate change continue to increase, it’s critical that the insurance industry and its customers look beyond the status quo and embrace emerging technologies like AI to better understand the risks associated with natural disasters.”

“The Cincinnati Insurance Company has always been known for its progressive approach, and we’re proud of our partnership with them as they further cement their pioneering position, providing homeowners with policies that accurately reflect a property’s wildfire risk,” Toth adds.

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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 [email protected] or (503) 936-2803.

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