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The Key Technologies That Transformed Insurers’ Catastrophe Response Post-Hurricane Andrew

Geocoding, modeling, digitization, modern claims systems and dashboards are among the technologies that are helping insurers do a much better job of catastrophe forecasting, planning and response, 20 years after Hurricane Andrew caused more than $26 billion in damage.
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Modern Claims Systems Facilitate Quicker Insights, Faster Response

By Neil Betteridge (at right), Vice President, Strategy, Guidewire Software (Foster City, Calif.)

Insurers have come to recognize the tremendous potential of proactive catastrophe management to improve how they deliver on their promises to policyholders. They can leverage modern claims management systems to understand the severity and span of a natural disaster much earlier on in real-time, allowing them to respond more quickly to their policyholders and better align their resources to areas in need. Adjusters from other regions are often re-allocated to support the surge in activity and now effectively assist remotely -- leveraging paperless, Web-enabled processes. Through better rapid planning, and dynamic monitoring of claims-handling progress, insurers are also able to improve their efficiency and mitigate losses.

Claims systems with CAT dashboards empower insurers to better assess and react to natural disasters. Dashboards include heat-mapping tools that give claims teams a powerful way to quickly visualize which of their policyholders are likely to be impacted, as well as where these locations are concentrated. These heat maps leverage geocoded information on insured locations captured when policies are underwritten. Armed with a clear, timely view of the situation, claims teams can focus and align their response efforts. Ongoing monitoring of the evolving situation and claims provides insights so they can adapt and optimize their response, reducing overall CAT handling duration, and the impact on their customers.

Peggy Bresnick Kendler has been a writer for 30 years. She has worked as an editor, publicist and school district technology coordinator. During the past decade, Bresnick Kendler has worked for UBM TechWeb on special financialservices technology-centered ... View Full Bio

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