Understory Launches Weather Intelligence Storm Estimates

WISE lets insurers know exactly how an event is going to unfold immediately after the weather clears with a 95 percent accuracy rate.

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Understory, a Madison, Wisc.-based weather network and analytics company has launched Weather Intelligence Storm Estimates (WISE), which the vendor describes as a service providing auto-generated assessments after hail events that help insurers better understand post-storm policyholder behavior, claims submission timing and adjuster experience requirements for assessing damage.

Alex Kubicek, CEO, Understory.

“Property and casualty carriers need to know, quantifiably, what happened in the immediate aftermath of any weather event,” comments Alex Kubicek, CEO and Founder, Understory. “Most times, insurance companies don’t know the extent of the damage until policyholders start calling in. Then it can take weeks to months to understand an approximate claim volume. WISE lets you know exactly how an event is going to unfold immediately after the weather clears with a 95 percent accuracy rate.”

After a hail event, a WISE assessment is automatically delivered to clients to provide an estimate of claims volume and total indemnity, Understory reports. Driven by damage analytics combined with historical claiming information, WISE’s machine learning model predicts human behavior relative to claim submissions in areas both where damage occurs and where it does not. Planning metrics include:

Policyholder behavior: Claiming volume for areas of likely property damage, damage-related insight based on property characteristics and the ability to recognize potential fraud;

Adjuster experience: Adjuster workforce requirements relative to adjuster experience in storm aftermath; and

Submission timing: Claims volume expected through first notice of loss each week following an event.

Understory relates that during a 2017 Denver hail storm that caused more than $1.4 billion in damages, the company provided reliable, ground-truth weather data previously unavailable to insurers and secured loss control of 15 to 30 percent. With on-the-ground weather stations, hyper-local weather can be understood with resolution and accuracy far surpassing that of atmospheric weather information, permitting insurers to streamline operational challenges and mitigate their economic consequences.

The vendor notes that with 500 stations deployed across five major metropolitan areas, Understory has worked with the insurance industry to analyze over 1,500,000 policyholders and 100,000 claims. Property/casualty insurance carriers have already seen pathways to over $62 million in savings, according to Understory. With its national expansion, the company plans to increase its sensor network to 5,000 sensors by the end of 2019. Understory networks will cover regions responsible for over 50 percent of the average annual storm loss and over 90 percent of all weather-related catastrophes.

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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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