Descartes Underwriting, the independent parametric-specialised firm, has announced a partnership with ICEYE, a leader in persistent monitoring and provider of flood hazard data.
The firms said the collaboration will push the frontier of flood risk modelling and parametric insurance by combining Descartes’ technology into its parametric insurance product design with ICEYE’s synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) flood data and monitoring capabilities.
Leveraging ICEYE’s multi-source flood insights, Descartes said it will be able to establish “precise parametric triggers” for a larger global client-base and make swift claims payment based on exact client locations within a flood event.
It added that the solution comes as, compounded by climate change, flood risk has also proven “increasingly challenging” to model and insure. Accurate assessment and data coverage for areas with granular elevation changes, or rapidly expanding impervious surfaces, pose technical hurdles for insurers.
Data loss and inaccuracies during flood events, due to the inherent vulnerabilities of physical flood gauges and sensors, can also prove especially challenging for insurance pricing and claims processing. As such the partnership between Descartes Underwriting and ICEYE “seeks to address these pain points”.
With a growing fleet of SAR satellites in orbit, ICEYE can provide insurance companies with a verifiable method of measuring flood depth globally in near real-time. The solution, which combines ICEYE’s SAR data with measurements from auxiliary sources, aims to enable insurance companies to provide parametric coverage for flood events at any location in the world.
The global coverage of ICEYE imagery also allows the expansion of parametric insurance policies into regions and geographies where data limitations impeded previous coverage.
Sebastian Piguet, co-founder and head of Underwriting at Descartes Underwriting, said: “We consider access to accurate data, provided by an independent third party, to be a prerequisite for all parametric insurance contracts.
“We are thus delighted to partner with ICEYE to advance the frontier of parametric flood insurance and expand our offering to a wider geographic client-base based on ICEYE’s data.”
Lisa Wardlaw, global head of Insurance Solutions at ICEYE, added: “The climate crisis calls for a revolutionary approach to insurance that fuses science, data and finance. We are proud to partner with Descartes, a company that shares our commitment to innovation.
“Our unique global flood monitoring solutions consistently provide data on whether a given parameter has been met or exceeded at any location worldwide. By reporting on such activity quickly and effectively, ICEYE is enabling flood monitoring that has been impossible until now.”