Munich Re today announced a new suite of hurricane response tools to help insurance companies assess widespread property damage after a hurricane and improve their customers’ claims experience.

Developed by Munich Re’s Remote Industries team, the Hurricane Response Suite empowers insurance companies with the fastest and most location-specific detection of property damage within days after a hurricane has occurred. Additional tools provide insurance companies with highly detailed predictions of damage days prior to the hurricane making landfall.


“The hurricane events from 2016 to 2018 resulted in a high volume of claims, a shortage of adjusters and higher loss adjustment expenses for insurance companies, with claims resolution delayed for many of those who were impacted,” said Roman Buegler, head of THE LAB, Munich Re. “Our new suite of tools utilizes cutting-edge technology to help insurance companies improve the customer experience and free up adjusters to manage serious or complex losses, while allowing rapid settlement of more simple losses.”


Munich Re’s Remote Industries offers insurance companies the information they need to prioritize and steer claims adjuster resources, proactively reach out to affected policyholders and ultimately help mitigate losses. Remote Industries uses high-resolution aerial imagery and machine learning to help insurance companies predict potential property claims four days prior to an expected hurricane.


Daily recalibrations and updates are provided until one day after the event. Two to three days following a hurricane, Remote Industries tasks the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC), an initiative of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, to begin collecting aerial imagery of hurricane damage.


Remote Industries applies its machine learning algorithms on those aerial images to detect damaged individual property features, such as exterior building and roof damage. This insight and the Remote Industries web tool, a web-based interface that lets insurers adjust a claim without an on-site inspection, enable insurance companies to deploy their resources to the more complex claims and to start settling claims with only light roof damage without onsite adjustment, where appropriate.


The same approach would also apply to major structural damage (i.e., a home that has been completely destroyed) which allows the property portion of the claim to be settled without waiting for an adjuster to visit the site.


“More extreme and frequent catastrophe events have unfortunately become the norm, so our industry can’t rely on the way we’ve always responded to hurricanes,” said Buegler. “Having remote sensing capabilities is a way to step up our game for our insureds at a time when they need us most.”