(Image source: MIS homepage.)
Millennial Specialty Insurance (MSI), a Bedford, Texas-based MGA that combines expert underwriting with advanced technology, has announced that it is expanding its relationship with ZestyAI, a provider of climate and property risk analytics solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). MSI has used ZestyAI’s Z-FIRE model to evaluate property-level wildfire risk for homeowners’ insurance underwriting and rating in California. Under a new agreement, the MGA will now expand ZestyAI’s climate risk models to all western wildfire states for enhanced data-driven wildfire risk analysis.
“At MSI, our journey began with a vision to revolutionize the insurance industry by tackling the areas of our industry that are ripe for improvement,” comments Naimish Patel, President, Homeowner’s Insurance Group, MSI. “We believe in building something better, and that’s exactly what we accomplished by adopting Z-FIRE in California. Collaborating with ZestyAI has allowed us to continue our commitment to delivering a best-in-class technology-driven experience. Expanding our use of Z-FIRE across all wildfire states allows us to accurately predict and proactively address the growing threat of wildfire for every customer on our flexible digital platform.”
“MSI is a solutions-focused company that shares our values of innovation, collaboration, and customer service,” comments Attila Toth, Founder and CEO, ZestyAI. “ZestyAI’s approach to climate risk modeling not only provides more accurate risk assessment, but it will help to increase transparency and trust between MSI and their customers by providing detail on specific actions that can be taken by homeowners to lower their property’s risk and optimize their coverage.”
Using AI trained on more than 1,500 wildfire events across 20 years of historical loss data, Z-FIRE provides accuracy and transparency that is of essential value to both insurers and homeowners, according to a statement from ZestyAI. The model considers features such as topography and historical climate data in combination with factors extracted from high-resolution imagery of the property itself and its surroundings, including homeowner and community mitigation efforts, to provide both neighborhood and property-specific risk scores.
Z-FIRE can also be used to identify specific actions that can be taken to lower a property’s risk, such as upgrading building materials and cutting down surrounding dry brush or overhanging vegetation. The impact of mitigation efforts can be significant, according to the vendor. A joint study by the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) and ZestyAI, which studied over 71,100 wildfire-exposed properties, found that property owners who clear vegetation from the perimeter of their home or building can nearly double their structure’s likelihood of surviving a wildfire.
ZestyAI notes that the Z-FIRE model was built with regulatory compliance in mind and has been widely adopted across the Western U.S., where its use has been approved for both underwriting and rating.