Category Archives: Insurance

RSA Insurance Group

Gaining deeper insight into global risk

Leading international insurer, RSA, has been using Esri’s ArcGIS technology for over 15 years to help it better understand global perils risk and manage its exposure. Integrated with other core systems, the Esri platform enables RSA’s employees to make better-informed business decisions, as well as respond quickly and effectively to major incidents.

Insurance Group


Case study


RSA has improved operational efficiencies, speeding up the turnaround time of risk assessments from several days to being available instantly

RSA can set more appropriate and competitive pricing at individual property level

The organisation can deliver better customer service by responding more quickly to events like floods

The Challenge

Complex factors like extreme climatic change create new risks, in new locations, all the time. The challenge for insurance companies is to thoroughly understand the risks of current and emerging perils; how they’ll affect their approach to risk selection; and how best to manage their overall exposure to risks within a given geographic area.

RSA Insurance Group was one of the first insurers to exploit the power of geographic information system (GIS) technology, using it initially to gain a more detailed understanding of flood risk at the point of underwriting new business. Since then, RSA has continually advanced its use of GIS across its business globally.

“ That’s the great thing about ArcGIS, all the clever analysis happens in the background

Rob Osment – Global GeoRisk Director, RSA

The Solution

At the heart of RSA’s business today is an enterprise GIS platform built using Esri’s ArcGIS Server technology and maintained by Esri UK. “This core system supports our property business, around the world,” says Rob Osment, Global GeoRisk Director at RSA. “It helps us understand what risks exist at a property and whether we have capacity to underwrite new business in this area.”

RSA also makes extensive use of Esri’s latest ArcGIS Desktop tools, through an Enterprise Licence Agreement with Esri UK. A small team of expert GIS users at RSA employ sophisticated spatial analysis techniques to create hazard models and reports that provide insights into changing risk profiles.

In addition, the Esri GIS platform has been integrated with RSA’s core business systems for underwriting and pricing, so up to 3,000 employees regularly use GIS and mapping tools as a part of their daily jobs. “That’s the great thing about ArcGIS,” Osment says. “All the clever analysis happens in the background.”

“ Using ArcGIS, alongside our internally-developed risk models, helps us achieve a more accurate understanding of peril risk and enables us to offer cover at a price that better reflects the risk

Rob Osment – Global GeoRisk Director, RSA

Benefits

In more than 15 years of using Esri GIS solutions, RSA has realised significant business advantages including:

Deeper understanding of global risk
Through its use of ArcGIS, RSA has been able to take advantage of the growing availability of open data to derive a greater understanding of peril risk and thereby allow underwriters to make better business decisions. Having a clear understanding of the business that is already covered allows underwriters to determine whether there is capacity to write more business, ensuring that RSA remains within its risk appetite.

More competitive pricing
Historically, everyone living in one postcode area would be charged the same rate for a specific peril. Now, RSA can identify the exact property being insured, and the rate charged for that peril can more accurately reflect the risk that is being covered. For instance, a person living on top of a hill would now pay a lower rate for flood cover than someone living close to the river. “Using ArcGIS, alongside our internally-developed risk models, helps us achieve a more accurate understanding of peril and enables us to offer cover at a price that better reflects the risk,” says Osment.

Fast, effective customer service
If an explosion, flood or wildfire occurs, RSA can immediately see which of its customers are affected. It can then put in place rapid, proactive measures to help these customers, before they have even logged a claim. “A customer who has bought a policy with RSA has bought into a promise that we will help them when things go wrong,” says Osment. “GIS puts us on the front foot and enables us to respond faster to resolve our customers’ problems as soon as we can.”

Better informed business strategy
Following events such as a major flood, RSA’s GeoRisk team uses ArcGIS to prepare presentations for senior managers, analysing what occurred and the implications for the business. These reports provide clarity in complex situations and are used to help inform changes in business strategy. For instance, ArcGIS helps managers to understand if RSA is underwriting the right levels of risk in the right locations.

Efficiencies for a global workforce
The integration of ArcGIS with other systems saves time for many employees, as they no longer have to access risk maps separately when fulfilling their job roles. At the same time, ArcGIS presents the same information to all of the organisation’s employees, regardless of whether they are sitting in the UK, Ireland, Canada or Scandinavia. As Katie Ward, Global GeoRisk Consultant at RSA, says, “Everyone gets the same instant view of global risk, irrespective of where they are.”

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Sompo Canopius

Preventing a natural catastrophe from becoming a business crisis

Global insurer Sompo Canopius has used Esri’s ArcGIS platform to put up-to-date information about potential natural hazards and risks at the fingertips of all its employees. Consequently, the organisation can now make more incisive underwriting decisions and better understand the impact of major catastrophes to protect business profitability.

Underwriters are now better informed about perils and natural hazards at all global locations

The organisation monitored the risk to insured properties during a significant wildfire incident in Canada

Managers can assess the level of accumulated insurance by location and minimise overexposure to risks

The Challenge

Sompo Canopius is a global insurance business, with operations in the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Bermuda, US and Singapore. Every year, it underwrites billions of pounds worth of business with domestic, commercial and reinsurance customers on every continent. Consequently, it needs to be able to collate, analyse and, critically, understand vast amounts of information about potential natural catastrophes at millions of separate locations all around the world.

“Today’s insurers can potentially access huge volumes of data about hazards and risks from numerous organisations, but trying to distil all this Big Data down into something that underwriters can use on a day-to-day basis is quite challenging,” says Rob Porter, Head of Catastrophe Research at Sompo Canopius. “We wanted to create an online app that would make it easy for anyone in the company to view and interpret up-to-date catastrophe data, about anywhere in the world, on demand.”

“ ArcGIS Online is an exceptional tool for bringing maps and spatial data to a wider audience, especially people who have not used technical GIS products before. It is highly intuitive and straight-forward to use

Rob Porter – Head of Catastrophe Research, Sompo Canopius

The Solution

Sompo Canopius worked with Esri UK’s Professional Services team to create its app using Esri’s ArcGIS Online solution, incorporating live disaster feeds. Named CatNav, the app is accessed via the company’s secure intranet, making it available to all of the company’s 600 employees in offices around the world. “ArcGIS Online is an exceptional tool for bringing maps and spatial data to a wider audience, especially people who have not used technical GIS products before,” says Porter. “It is highly intuitive and straight-forward to use.”

Now, underwriters can access CatNav when talking with customers or brokers, enter an address, and immediately see accurate information on localised hazards such as flooding, as well as more wide-ranging risk factors including hurricanes and earthquakes. Employees can also use CatNav to view and better understand the accumulation of insured properties in specific areas or, in the event of a natural disaster, easily see which insured properties are at risk.

Esri UK helped Sompo Canopius to integrate CatNav with back-office systems and databases, using Esri’s ArcGIS Server solution and Python scripting, to facilitate a number of automated workflows. For instance, now, when a new insurance policy is accepted, maps of the underwritten locations are automatically generated by ArcGIS and attached to policy documents, with no time delay or manual intervention.

“ ArcGIS Online supports underwriters, enabling them to make the right decisions about which policies to offer, and at which price, to make the company more profitable over time

Rob Porter – Head of Catastrophe Research, Sompo Canopius

Benefits

CatNav is delivering a range of commercial advantages for Sompo Canopius including:

Well-supported underwriting decisions
Underwriters are now better informed about perils and natural hazards at all global locations and can ensure that potential risks are accounted for, every time. “Good underwriting is at the very foundation of how insurers make money,” says Porter. “ArcGIS Online supports underwriters, enabling them to make the right decisions about which policies to offer, at which price, to make the company more profitable over time. It gives the business greater confidence that underwriters are underwriting policies appropriately.”

Greater understanding of exposure to risk
Using CatNav, senior managers can better monitor the business’ exposure to risk, as catastrophes unfold. For instance, during a significant wildfire incident in Alberta, Canada, the organisation consumed data from NASA on the spread of the fire and used ArcGIS to monitor the risk to insured properties. “With ArcGIS Online, we could make near real-time information on the spread of the wildfires and the proximity of insured locations accessible to all our global employees,” Porter recalls. “There was a lot of media hype about the disaster, but ArcGIS Online enabled us to identify properties at risk and allay management concerns about the likely extent of any claims.”

Sound business management
Sompo Canopius also relies on CatNav to help monitor the level of accumulated insurance in specific regions and form sound business strategies to minimise overexposure to risks. “Global insurance is a highly competitive market,” says Porter. “CatNav helps us to ensure the business is appropriately diversified. The app helps us to make the right commercial decisions to achieve competitive advantage.”

Significant internal productivity gains
ArcGIS saves a significant amount of time for Sompo Canopius, partly because of the automation of key map production workflows and partly because the GIS team no longer has to respond to ad hoc requests for catastrophe maps. Previously, it took two or three hours for a GIS specialist to produce a pdf map showing a particular hazard or risk scenario at a certain location; now staff can see a map of whatever location they want, instantly.

More responsive client service
Staff can respond more quickly to client enquiries, because, in most circumstances, they no longer have to request information on potential risks and wait for it to be supplied. “They often don’t have to refer queries back to risk specialists, saving anything from a few hours to a whole day,” Porter estimates. “This helps us to provide a better quality of customer service.”

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Royal Sun Alliance (RSA)

Delivering a new dimension in risk management

A pioneer of GIS in the insurance industry, Royal Sun Alliance (RSA) uses Esri’s ArcGIS technology to help it more accurately assess risk levels at individual properties and addresses. This insight enables it to optimise its profitability, reduce over-exposure to risk and operate more efficiently.

Royal Sun Alliance


Case study – Insurance


The Customer

Originating in London, RSA is one of the world’s leading multinational insurance groups. It specialises in general insurance, and has 17 million customers in 130 countries.

RSA has improved operational efficiencies, speeding up the turnaround time of risk assessments from several days to being available instantly

GIS enables RSA to calculate premiums far more accurately, based on a more reliable understanding of actual risks

The organisation can sell more insurance policies to a wider number of customers, whilst avoiding over-exposure to risks

The Challenge

RSA wanted more accurate tools for managing exposure to risk in commercial property, optimising capacity, handling claims, purchasing reinsurance, and targeting marketing campaigns.

“ GIS has a massive future in my industry; we are really only just dipping our toe in the water, and I genuinely believe that my organisation is one of those leading the way

Graham Heale – Property Portfolio Director

The Solution

The Esri UK insurance platform comprises hubs (modules) providing spatial support to business functions. It uses xy coordinates to establish the distance between a building and a nearby risk, within 1-2 metres of accuracy, spatial analysing the effect. It interoperates with leading platforms and data formats, in server and mainframe environments. Most processing is “behind the scenes”, so commercially sensitive data can be managed inhouse and training requirements are minimal.

When a customer calls, the address is geocoded and passed to the perils hub, for risk scoring. If the accumulation hub finds RSA’s exposure at this location is within defined limits, the new risk is automatically approved and the accumulation hub data updated. (If exposure would be too high, the location is flagged for investigation.)

“ The Esri UK Insurance Platform can provide assurance to regulators and shareholders that RSA fully understands the risks it underwrites

Benefits

Accuracy reduces risk
Postcodes are too vague. Using xy locations pinpoints where each building is in relation to others, and adding data layers (e.g. crime, flood and subsidence) means risk assessment and premiums can be more accurately calculated. “Having that much more granular idea of where our risks are – and where they are approximate to each other – ensures we don’t overexpose ourselves”, explains Graham Heale, Property Portfolio Director.

Optimised capital capacity
With reliable risk assessment, RSA allocates capital and manages reinsurance more effectively, freeing capacity to sell more insurance, whilst avoiding over-exposure. “The greater the granularity of the data, the greater the understanding of risk, and the more effective we can make our reinsurance purchase”, Heale explains. “This doesn’t mean we do away entirely with the contingency… but we can be more refined in our purchase.”

Competitive edge
Competitors quote high premiums for all properties in a postcode that has flooded, whereas RSA can give lower quotes for individual properties that have never been affected. “We were able to make flood insurance available to a wider range of customers”, notes Heale.

Faster processing
“Where before we would expect a risk assessment to be performed in, say, seven days, the response from the new system is pretty much instant, as in most cases no manual assessment is needed”, Heale observes. Automated risk assessment and batch processing free up underwriter time for more complex assessments. Heale is enthusiastic: “We have no reason to assume anything other than 100% confidence. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Handling major events
Some events cannot be planned for and stretch call centres and computer systems. When the Buncefield oil terminal exploded, Heale’s team modelled and estimated RSA’s loss within three hours; “Following seven months of actual physical assessment of the damage and loss adjustment, the number that we gave is still within 7% of the final cost”, Heale affirms. Before GIS, it would have taken a week or two to estimate a less accurate number. Furthermore, “Because the system helped us to gear up quickly, we were able to send an emergency response vehicle to the scene within a couple of hours”.

Demonstrate solvency
The Esri UK Insurance Platform can provide assurance to regulators and shareholders that RSA fully understands the risks it underwrites and complies with legislation such as Contract Certainty and Solvency 2. “I do believe that… the system may be able to assist us in our discussions with regulators around how effectively we are managing the risks in our portfolio”, muses Heale.

Targeted marketing
“The geographical mapping tools can also be used to identify ‘cold spots’, or areas in which we could write more business without affecting our accumulated risk”, Heale notes.

Future benefits
RSA has used Esri GIS for many years, and now plans to convert all postcode data into geocoded data and give web service access to underwriters outside the UK.

Heale summarises, “I guess the real ‘lightbulb moment’ for me was the realisation that it wasn’t the knowledge of topography, or of river flows, or of insurance, or of GIS that actually made the difference… but it is the combining of all those datasets with our GIS skill, our mastery of the insurance risk, of actuarial pricing, and of our capital management capability that has truly made a winning formula for us.”

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Willis Group

Collecting and sharing real-time insight

When major flooding occurred in Central Europe, international insurance broker Willis used Esri’s ArcGIS Collector App to gain detailed, real-time insight into this devastating natural disaster. The company could then provide well-informed advice to its customers and strengthen its reputation as an expert on flood risk.


Case study – Insurance


ArcGIS Collector App allows more precise, location-specific data and imagery to be collected in the field

Willis can make up-to-the-minute information from the disaster zone instantly accessible to analysts back in London

The company gains better quality information, which enables it to improve its flood models and offer better advice to customers

The Challenge

Incidents of severe flooding are expected to double in frequency by 2050, thrusting more communities into danger and causing significant, additional damage to property. For insurers, this means that flood-related claims are now a considerable risk factor and a growing proportion of their accumulated, insured risk.

As a global risk advisor, Willis Group Holdings plc (Willis) provides services to insurance and reinsurance companies, to help them better understand flooding, as well as other natural catastrophes. While it analyses satellite and aerial imagery to gain insight into flood patterns, Willis also recognises the vital importance of conducting ground surveys, to identify loss-generating mechanisms in more detail.

Between May and June 2013, vast swathes of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic were afflicted by devastating floods. Willis quickly started to prepare a team of surveyors to visit the flooded regions and collect information about flood depths, damage and the effectiveness of local flood defences. As water levels rose, losses escalated and fatalities occurred, it became clear to Willis that it would need a more effective way to ensure the accuracy of the data it collected.

“ If we hadn’t had the ArcGIS Collector App, it would have been significantly more work ”

Timothy Fewtrell – divisional director for catastrophe risk, Willis

The Solution

Willis has been using geographic information system (GIS) solutions from Esri UK for many years and places considerable importance on spatial analytics as an enabler for technical innovation and client service excellence. During the flooding crisis, it decided to employ Esri’s ArcGIS Collector App for the first time. It took the organisation just a few days to set up the mobile GIS solution to meet its survey requirements, and less than a week after the Danube burst its banks, surveyors were on route to Central Europe.

Timothy Fewtrell, divisional director for catastrophe risk at Willis, led the 2013 survey. He used the ArcGIS Collector App on his Apple iPhone to note his precise location, via GPS, record survey observations and upload photographs. All of the location-specific data collected from sites across three countries was then automatically uploaded to Esri’s cloud-based GIS platform, ArcGIS Online, where it was instantly accessible to office-based analysts in London.

“If we hadn’t had the ArcGIS Collector App, it would have been significantly more work,” says Fewtrell. “We would have had to manually link photographs with locations when we got back to the office, and the information gathered would not have been anything like as precise from a location perspective.”

“ The ArcGIS Collector App helped us make improvements to our flood model, allowing it to become seen as state-of-the-art. It helped to solidify our foothold in the industry as the preferred supplier for flood risk assessments

Timothy Fewtrell – divisional director for catastrophe risk, Willis

Benefits

The use of Esri’s ArcGIS Collector App enabled Willis to collect accurate information about the 2013 flooding and make it accessible almost immediately to its analysts in offices around the world. Fewtrell believes that this ability to share real-time insight is incredibly valuable to the business. He says: “When our analysts can gain rapid visibility into what is actually happening on the ground, they can monitor risk very closely and provide well-informed advice to customers.”

Using the information gathered during the 2013 ground survey, Willis was able to develop detailed reports about the natural disaster, which were valued by customers. “We were able to show our customers that we really understood the dynamics of that particular flood incident,” Fewtrell recalls. “We could give them the detailed information they needed to help them assess damage claims more appropriately and make future policy decisions.”

The information gathered using the ArcGIS Collector App was also used by Willis to help it validate and improve its well-renowned flood risk model for Central Europe. Its model subsequently grew in accuracy, enhancing the company’s reputation and credibility in the sector. “The ArcGIS Collector App helped us make improvements to our flood model, allowing it to become seen as state-of-the-art,” Fewtrell says. “It helped to solidify our foothold in the industry as the preferred supplier for flood risk assessments.”

The 2013 flooding was undoubtedly one of Europe’s most devastating natural disasters. 25 lives were lost and the total damage done to commercial and residential properties has been estimated at €12 billion. Willis now has an extensive geospatial repository of data about where flood losses occurred in this event, the condition of flood defences at specific sites, actual water level recordings and more besides. As Fewtrell says, “all this information has significant value as intellectual property for Willis and will have many different uses for years to come.”

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Direct Line Group

Improving the understanding of risk

The UK’s largest home and motor insurer relies on Esri GIS technology to help it make more informed decisions when underwriting insurance policies in its commercial property division, NIG. The use of GIS gives Direct Line Group a better understanding of actual risk factors at individual properties, so it can price policies more accurately and profitably.


Case study – Insurance


The Customer

Direct Line Group (DLG) is the UK’s largest home and motor insurer, consisting of several well-known brands including Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. The brand also includes NIG, one of the country’s leading providers of business insurance offered exclusively through insurance brokers.

Increased granularity of risk intelligence means that underwriters can be more selective about what business NIG takes on, improving profitability

The organisation can give customers more accurate quotes and deal with more complex customer requirements, leading to added business wins

The marketing department makes use of the GIS to implement targeted marketing campaigns and offer discounts to low risk prospects

The Challenge

DLG’s primary objective was to improve its assessment of risk when writing business within in its commercial property division NIG, to be achieved through more accurate pricing and better control of accumulations of risk.

The main catalyst for the GIS project was the UK floods in 2007. The devastating events signalled the need for DLG to have a better understanding of the risks they were writing.

Previous risk assessment relied upon postcode level or district segmentation, while the data needed for writing business was gathered from multiple sources. Underwriters had to move from mainframe system to rating table, and from claims records to the Environment Agency website; to assess the risk of a piece of business. In addition, data was presented in a traditional non-spatial format as numbers on a page.

“The business case for a new Geospatial system was all about improving the risk of our commercial portfolio to reduce the level of claims and run a more profitable business. To achieve this we needed to improve upon the precision offered from using a postcode level of rating,” explained Richard Jones, Head of DLG’s Geospatial Unit.

“ Our goal was to develop a new system with the industry’s most powerful GIS, to provide greater insight to the business we write and therefore improve our understanding of risk

Richard Jones – Head of Geospatial Unit at Direct Line

The Solution

DLG needed a powerful GIS platform at the heart of its new approach and after a rigorous review process selected Esri UK as its GIS provider.

“Our goal was to develop a new system with the industry’s most powerful GIS, to provide greater insight to the business we write and therefore improve our understanding of risk,” said Jones. “We wanted to be able to differentiate between individual properties on the same street and allow a higher level of interaction with more data, enabling users to drill into maps and view contextual information simultaneously.”

Now DLG can examine a map showing a property anywhere in the UK to assess risk in terms of fire, flood, subsidence, theft or windstorm, with the ability to include additional perils as required.

“Esri UK developed both aspects of our new Geospatial system – the back-end analysis tool plus the front-end underwriter interface Risk Explorer,” said Jones. “The Esri team also developed the geocoding process to convert postal addresses into co-ordinates, which allows the market leading address point risk assessment to be carried out.”

With Risk Explorer, DLG underwriters now have all the information they need in one place, which enhances the whole underwriting process, as Jones explained: “Using the new Esri interface, staff can now visualise what the data is telling them. They don’t have to interpret a series of postcode tables with associated loadings. Underwriters now interact with a map, see where the property is at an address level, and view all of its related contextual information including perils, local points of interest, loadings, discounts and accumulations.”

“ We’re confident we can identify the level of risk more accurately than our competition and this ultimately means a more profitable business

Richard Jones – Head of Geospatial Unit at Direct Line

Benefits

By moving from postcode level risk assessment to address level, Geospatial has taken DLG’s understanding of risk another step forward. Primarily concerned with matching price to risk for the commercial division, the models created in ArcGIS are also being used in some Personal Lines pricing. Other insurers might not be aware of the risk and therefore price business at the wrong point, taking on the customer at an unprofitable level.

“Geospatial gives customers more accurate prices, provides our underwriters with a wider range of information and shows reinsurers a more detailed picture of our portfolio risk,” summarised Jones. “The increased granularity of risk intelligence means business is being priced more accurately and consistently and underwriters can be smarter about what business we take on board.”

The system also offers the ability to generate multiple quotes on more than one property in a single action, which gives a vastly improved ability to deal with more complex quotes. Through this, DLG has successfully secured some large new business accounts that previously it would not have been able to compete for.

Geospatial is also adding value in ways that were not thought of initially. Marketing are applying the insight to develop more targeted campaigns, with discounts offered to those who may now pose less of a risk to others. DLG is confident that other insurers who don’t have the same level of intelligence will not be able to offer the same competitive but profitable price.

Another added benefit is when DLG have to model the impact of fictitious scenarios on its portfolio, set by the FSA (Financial Services Authority). Previously this would be hard to do, but now a more scientific approach is applied to demonstrate how a disastrous event would impact their exposure.

By pricing risk at an address level instead of postcode, Geospatial is helping DLG run a more profitable business. It supports both the writing of larger volumes of profitable good risk business and avoidance of writing unprofitable poor risks. Geospatial is now established as an invaluable tool for the underwriting community.

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Aviva

Driving competitive advantage with GIS

This leading European insurance company uses Esri’s ArcGIS platform to increase its understanding of risk factors, such as susceptibility to flooding, at more than 28 million UK addresses. With this improved insight it can make better informed underwriting decisions, handle claims more efficiently and deliver more proactive customer service during major incidents.


Case study – Insurance


The Customer

With 43 million customers across 21 countries, Aviva is one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance and is the UK’s largest insurer serving over 14 million customers.

ArcGIS enables Aviva to run complex models more quickly and more frequently and thereby gain fresh insight into changing risk profiles

The company can respond to major incidents more effectively by using GIS to identify affected properties and policy holders

GIS is being used to identify trends and hot spots for insurance fraud, enabling Aviva to detect and block potentially fraudulent claims

The Challenge

Aviva UK has long been a pioneer in using GIS to rate flood risk at an individual address level. The company wanted to develop this expertise and spread the benefits of GIS across the business.

With GIS being historically desktop based, Aviva also needed to be able to change the way spatial analysis was used and consumed across the organisation. It had to empower users to work with GIS themselves. “

We wanted to develop a more informed view on the 28 million households in the UK through spatial analytics to create new insights, underwrite more accurately and allow us to price more effectively for individual levels of risk,” explained Eleanor Mclachlan, GIS Manager at Aviva UK. “The appetite and demand for GIS was also growing, with teams increasingly asking if data could be mapped. We needed to be able to spread the benefits of GIS to more areas of the business.”

“ We’re now able to run complex models on 28 million UK addresses more quickly and more frequently. Being able to combine a variety of different data sets in this environment means we can develop new models we couldn’t achieve otherwise. This delivers fresh, valuable insights across the board

Eleanor Mclachlan – GIS Manager at Aviva UK

The Solution

Several Esri developments have allowed Aviva to realise its vision to widen the use of GIS and derive new value from spatial analytics.

Storage of spatial data using Esri’s ArcSDE was the first step in helping the GIS team support the whole organisation. Spatial data now resides on the enterprise database, in the same place as the organisation’s tabular data. This single, central location to manage spatial data has made it easier to share it more freely.

More advanced modelling is being performed using Esri Model Builder, while the use of Python scripting allows the team to automate sophisticated analysis tasks, as Mclachlan explained: “We’re now able to run complex models on 28 million UK addresses more quickly and more frequently. Being able to combine a variety of different data sets in this environment means we can develop new models we couldn’t achieve otherwise. This delivers fresh, valuable insights across the board.”

The latest part of the GIS evolution at Aviva is the application of ArcGIS Server, used to develop and distribute mapping applications to the growing user base. This was part of a vision to give business teams the ability to work with their own spatial data. Aviva has also started to build custom mapping applications for various teams with the Esri Flex Viewer.

“Staff need to interact with their data on a map, they don’t just want a solitary answer or static hard copy map,” said Mclachlan. “Using ArcGIS Server we’re able to start satisfying the growing demand for spatial analytics and to push GIS out into the organisation. Most importantly, staff are able to make better decisions, from underwriting to claims, or fraud to resource planning.”

“ Our investment in Esri is helping us satisfy the flourishing appetite for location analysis across new lines, plus a whole range of job functions

Eleanor Mclachlan – GIS Manager at Aviva UK

Benefits

GIS is now delivering new spatial insights to all parts of Aviva, from helping to support better underwriting decisions to improving customer service.

“Sophisticated GIS models are allowing us to understand risk better and underwrite more effectively, while the growing number of mapping applications are delivering new levels of operational value,” said Mclachlan.

At an operational level, GIS is delivering a whole raft of benefits:

Supporting strategic decisions

Staff at all levels are now using spatial analysis and geo-visualisation when making strategic decisions. One example covers improved resource planning for major incidents, while another is national asset management.

Better customer service

During a major incident, accurate answers to a range of difficult questions can be answered using GIS. The findings help Aviva determine the nature of a response, such as how many policyholders might be affected and their location. Granular geographic insights also help response teams to be pro-active, by seeing which addresses might be at risk and who should be contacted first. This makes the claims process as smooth as possible for customers and minimises the impact on the business, as the response activity can progress quickly and efficiently.

Reducing fraud

GIS is helping Aviva tackle fraud at a broad level, identifying where the major fraud hotspots are and whether a claim falls into such an area. At a more granular level, it can help to identify patterns and links between parties involved in a suspected fraudulent claim, providing much more insight than simply recording their postcode.

Social media insights

During the London riots the GIS team experimented with plotting Twitter feeds about rioting and compared them to the location of policies and incoming claims.

The GIS team at Aviva is rapidly becoming a hub, providing GIS services across the whole of the UK business and this is only going to grow as more benefits are achieved.

“Our investment in Esri technology is helping us satisfy the flourishing appetite for location analysis across new lines of business and a whole range of job functions,” commented Mclachlan. “The team has become an enabler, allowing staff to use GIS themselves, to interpret their own data and to make more accurate decisions. The ability to spatially analyse data on the UK’s 28 million addresses means we understand our customers a lot better. Being able to share this insight with as many staff as possible is what helps drive competitive advantage.”

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Willis

Reducing complex global asset and supply chain risk

The global insurance broker Willis has used Esri’s ArcGIS platform to develop a web-based risk analysis solution. Called Atlas, it provides an effective way for Willis to share its incredible knowledge of global risk factors with its clients and deliver an additional premium value service.


Case study – Insurance


The Customer

Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global insurance broker with 400 offices in 120 countries. The firm delivers a full range of professional insurance, reinsurance, risk management, financial consulting, human resource and actuarial services to corporations, public entities and institutions around the world.

Atlas combines Willis’ global threat data with information on specific business locations to give clients insight into the actual risks their businesses face

With a better understanding of risk, Willis’ clients can manage risk factors more effectively and take steps to minimise potential losses

Clients can access Atlas remotely, whenever they want to, to help them make better business decisions

The Challenge

Risk is an inevitable factor in any enterprise. Yet, for large multi-national organisations and businesses with global supply chains, understanding and managing that risk can be hugely complicated. Risk managers need to be able to assess hundreds of factors, ranging from the political stability of a country to the probability of an earthquake – at dozens of international locations – and then act upon them.

Willis supplies its corporate clients with a wealth of information and analysis to help them identify and manage global risks, including (but not limited to) climatic disasters, volcanic activity and political unrest. Until recently, this information was provided in PDF-format reports; however, clients sometimes found it difficult to aggregate this knowledge and analyse all the information at their disposal.

“There was a pressing need within our business to improve the service we offered to our clients by developing a smarter way to deliver all the intellectual capital and knowledge held within our global analytics department,” says Nick Charteris, Engineering Team Manager, Construction, Property & Casualty, Willis.

“ There was a pressing need within our business to improve the service we offered to our clients by developing a smarter way to deliver all the intellectual capital and knowledge held within our global analytics department

Nick Charteris – Engineering Team Manager, Construction, Property & Casualty, Willis

The Solution

Willis decided to harness Geographic Information System (GIS) technology within a solution that would allow its clients to review asset information and the risks associated with each asset. Interactive global maps and spatial analysis are an integral part of the overall platform. Named Atlas, the solution was developed in-house by Willis, with support from Esri UK and Esri Inc, using Esri’s ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Online software.

For each new client, Willis loads location-based data specific to the client’s own business into Atlas and integrates it with its own vast reserves of risk management information and analytical power. Clients can therefore search for, view and evaluate both internal and external information at the same time, via a single easy-to-use application. Only named users, with discrete login details, can access a client’s data, so sensitive information is kept secure.

“ With a better understanding of potential threats across multiple geographies, our clients can manage risk more effectively and take steps to minimise potential losses

Nick Charteris – Engineering Team Manager, Construction, Property & Casualty, Willis

Benefits

Using Atlas, Willis’ clients can gain a far deeper understanding of their global risk profile, not only at their own business sites, but at partner and supplier sites and strategic locations throughout their entire supply chains. “Our clients can investigate their supply chains visually on a map to get new insight into risks that they might not have been aware of before,” says Nigel Davis, Executive Director Platforms, Willis.

With improved awareness of risk, Willis’ clients can then implement more pro-active measures to protect their businesses. Charteris explains, “With a better understanding of potential threats across multiple geographies, our clients can manage risk more effectively and take steps to minimise potential losses.”

For example, Atlas allows clients to monitor the path of an active tropical storm and to identify property and business operations that might be impacted. Clients can then respond quickly to put measures in place to protect these assets in order to reduce the financial losses that might occur through property damage and business disruption.

As a web-based solution, Atlas can be accessed by clients outside their offices, using their home computers, laptops or tablets. Consequently, managers who are travelling to overseas factories or visiting potential new suppliers can access risk data on demand to help make strategic decisions. Davis says, “Risk data can be used to inform day-to-day business operations rather than just annual reporting and that helps to reduce risk.”

In addition, use of the Atlas solution could potentially pave the way for clients to obtain more cost-effective insurance premiums. When they renew their corporate insurance, they will be able to provide accurate location-specific information which can be used to create a comprehensive risk assessment. “Atlas can help clients become more attractive propositions in the insurance market,” says Charteris. “With accurate risk profiles, we can help broker their risk to insurers, and drive better value for them.”

An added advantage of the solution is that it provides organisations with better control over who has access to risk management information. It is no longer possible for employees to forward PDF documents to other (internal or external) recipients by email; instead only authorised users can log into Atlas to view and analyse potentially sensitive risk data.

As well as benefiting clients, Atlas has also created efficiencies within Willis’ own business. The solution is integrated into core workflows and provides a central repository for data. Charteris says: “Atlas is becoming a single source of truth for our risk analytics intelligence.”

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