Geospatial Insight is a leading provider of risk intelligence derived from analysis of satellite, aerial, drone imagery and social media scraping, for a range of applications across the insurance value chain. In an interview with us, Aman Bajaj, Insurance Lead of Geospatial Insight talks about change that improves customer experiences and an insurers own bottom line.
1. How does your business model work and what is your USP?
Geospatial Insight accesses a range of sophisticated data sources and applies advanced technologies, including machine learning, to produce evidence-based intelligence that enables clients to make better business decisions. With our flexible approach we enhance the understanding of risks for (re)insurers. Using imagery and film footage we deliver precise evidence-based data to insurers, reinsurers and brokers to allow enhanced risk assessment and selection as well as CAT response and claims management. We provide meaningful insights, as opposed to pure raw data, which enables better risk-based decision-making.
One of our key offerings is a subscription based on demand catastrophe event response mapping service with machine learning feature extraction. We have extensive space science knowledge and privileged access to all major and emerging satellite operators and aerial mapping companies. We operate a comprehensive two-tier SLA based international drone network to provide NRT data of catastrophe events, which gives us the ability to deliver rapidly.
Furthermore, we offer pre-risk mapping that is bespoke and client driven using machine learning feature extraction. We have access to a variety of additional geospatially relevant data sets such as perils including flood prediction, in-house subsidence mapping and dynamic map visualisation tools providing an analytics platform for our clients. This can be white labelled to allow clients to offer as a value-added service to their customers.
2. Why did you join the InsurTech Europe powered by Plug and Play Accelerator Program?
Our technology platform is market ready with some early customer wins, but the program by Plug and Play allows us to target a wider sector of the insurance market more effectively, particularly that part of the market that has the appetite to embrace new technologies and engage with deploying newer innovations within the sector.
3. What is your biggest takeaway from the program and would you recommend other startups to join?
The platform opens some of the bigger doors which from our experience is already leading to more meaningful discussions in shorter timescales – truly accelerated!
4. What do you believe is the biggest challenge for innovation in P&C insurance?
One of the biggest challenges for innovation in P&C insurance revolves around the natural resistance to new concepts and working practices, by the nature of their business insurers are risk averse. We understand that employing new processes is not easy – not only the need to undertake due diligence, but also as any business change transformation process, to expose the true value improvement to their services. We appreciate this can involve in-depth cost benefit analysis, so that ROI is fully understood and that change is not being implemented for the sake of change, but to ultimately improve their customers business experience and their own bottom line. The POCs give us the mechanism to be part of that assessment in a very fundamental way and also to build their trust in our technology, our staff, our culture and vice versa.
Many firms spend the majority of their time defending against disrupters instead of spending their energy to create value for their customers. Whether disruptive or incremental, innovation must be a part of the culture before it can bring success. Organisations should consider how they can work with or acquire innovators to improve their offerings.
Another major challenge is the regulation and red tape surrounding the industry, insurers are often reluctant to embrace new products, services and technologies out of concern of navigating these complex compliance and licensing requirements. But companies like Uber have proven disruptive technology can overcome obstacles, when there is motivation.
5. In your opinion, what can established insurance and reinsurance companies do to simplify collaborations with InsurTech startups?
We would love to see insurers having a set budget & funding to pay for PoC’s and pilot projects, a streamlined process for working with startups to shorten extremely long sales cycles as well as greater autonomy for innovation teams and business units to be decision makers.
6. Munich provides one of the fastest growing digital ecosystems for insurance innovation. How is your experience here compared to other startup hotspots as Silicon Valley, London or Tel Aviv?
Munich is the base for a large number of insurance corporates and the reputation of the ecosystem is great. The direct exchange with these partners of InsurTech Hub Munich allows us to bring our innovative solutions directly to them while benefiting from their industry know-how.