DES PLAINES, Ill., May 12, 2020 — The Central Insurance Companies has joined the Geospatial Intelligence Center program (GIC), an insurance industry consortium spearheaded by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), to help combat fraud using advanced aerial imagery.
“Insurers are always looking to adapt to change, and the GIC showcases how the industry is ready to help policyholders by allowing adjusters to handle claims remotely,” said Central’s Vice President of Claims Paul Edwards. “In this current climate, it’s essential to keep our customers safe, but still assist in the aftermath of catastrophe.”
“This advanced imagery allows our fraud investigators to conduct an investigation remotely; without GIC imagery, that would not be possible,” said Central’s Director of Anti-Fraud & Recovery Jeff Lieberman.
As the GIC’s newest member, Central now has access to advanced aerial imagery and detailed property data to better serve its policyholders. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to maintain business continuity is a crucial goal for insurance carriers like Central Insurance. Geospatial data from GIC provides additional resources to be used by desk adjusters and reduces the need for on-site visits by allowing field teams to conduct remote inspections using ultra-high-resolution imagery.
“Having access to the value proposition offered by the GIC program is especially important as companies face the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Central recognizes the value and efficiencies that are achieved by having the GIC’s high-resolution imagery available with a click of a button on the desktops of their claims team,” said NICB Chief Operating Officer Jim Schweitzer.
Within the first several hours or days following a major disaster, the GIC fleet of fixed-wing aircraft will fly over impacted areas to capture and assess damage to provide members with unprecedented ultra-high-resolution imagery and data on affected properties. The NICB, working with law enforcement and disaster scene commanders, has provided the GIC program with access to disaster areas as soon as it is safe to fly. The GIC program provides imagery and data to members within 24–36 hours of the aircraft touching down.
JERSEY CITY, N.J., and BOULDER, Colo., January 21, 2020 — Vexcel Imaging, a leader in aerial imagery data, large-format aerial cameras, and photogrammetry software, today signed a definitive agreement to acquire the imagery sourcing group from Verisk’s Geomni business. The acquisition will combine Geomni’s imagery surveying and content-related teams and assets into Vexcel. Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK), a leading data analytics provider, will be a minority owner in Vexcel with full access to all aerial imagery libraries.
The combination of Geomni’s fleet of fixed-wing aircraft and aerial operations, mapping business, and oblique aerial image library together with Vexcel’s sensor business and data program will create the world’s leading geospatial data library.
Geomni’s analytics team and assets will remain part of Verisk and continue to focus on world-class advanced analytics. The team will work closely with Vexcel on a strategic road map and joint projects.
“The strategic alliance between Vexcel and Verisk demonstrates both companies’ resolve to drive rapid innovation across imagery and analytics—to enter new markets, create new categories, and better serve commercial and insurance customers,” said Jeffrey C. Taylor, president of Geomni. “Partnering with Vexcel is a huge leap forward in the services we can provide customers.”
Vexcel Imaging was founded in 1992. The company’s highly successful line of UltraCam systems was launched with the first UltraCam in 2003. Vexcel is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado; operates an office in Graz, Austria; and will now have teams and operational hubs strategically located throughout the United States and in Spain.
“Our alliance with Vexcel benefits our customers through a unified, robust, and rapidly expanding global aerial imagery library that will deepen their understanding of ground truth,” said Mark Anquillare, chief operating officer of Verisk. “The combination of Verisk’s and Vexcel’s data will provide tremendous coverage for customers and help drive Verisk’s proven ability to innovate advanced analytic solutions.”
“By combining forces with Verisk, we’re making a progressive move to accelerate innovation within the geospatial data industry,” said Erik Jorgensen, chairman and CEO of Vexcel Imaging. “Vexcel and Verisk share tremendous synergies, and we look forward to bringing the definitive imagery and geospatial data library to the market—unmatched in its size, quality, and breadth.”
Vexcel maintains a strong partnership with the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC), an insurance industry consortium spearheaded by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting insurance fraud and crime, and powered by Vexcel’s data program. The GIC empowers its member insurers to improve their decision making and risk management by leveraging aerial imagery and data in visual tools and automated processes. The partnership will provide enhanced support to GIC member insurers in the form of additional flying and processing capabilities as well as access to the newly scaled and unified geospatial library and enhanced analytics.
The transaction is expected to close the first quarter of this year, subject to the completion of customary closing conditions.
About Vexcel Imaging
Founded in 1992, Vexcel Imaging boasts over twenty-five years of photogrammetric and remote sensing expertise. Its highly successful line of UltraCam systems was launched with the first UltraCam in 2003. In 2006, Vexcel Imaging was acquired by Microsoft Corporation and contributed as a subsidiary to the success of Microsoft’s Bing program by pushing the envelope of photogrammetric hardware and software technology with innovations that underpinned the Bing Maps web service and mapping platform.
As a direct result of these advancements, the UltraMap photogrammetric workflow software solution was born and today offers customers an extremely rapid and efficient solution for generating aerial imagery and downstream data products, such as high-density point clouds, digital surface models, and orthophotos. Ten years later, Vexcel Imaging is again a private company and continuing its story of success with renewed and greater flexibility and agility. Learn more about Vexcel Imaging at http://www.vexcel-imaging.com/.
About Verisk Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) is a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy and specialized markets, and financial services. Using advanced technologies to collect and analyze billions of records, Verisk draws on unique data assets and deep domain expertise to provide first-to-market innovations that are integrated into customer workflows. Verisk offers predictive analytics and decision support solutions to customers in rating, underwriting, claims, catastrophe and weather risk, global risk analytics, natural resources intelligence, economic forecasting, and many other fields. Around the world, Verisk helps customers protect people, property, and financial assets.
Headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., Verisk operates in 30 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s S&P 500® Index. In 2018, Forbes magazine named Verisk to its World’s Best Employers list. For more information, please visit www.verisk.com.
Investor Relations Stacey Brodbar Head of Investor Relations Verisk 201-469-4327 IR@verisk.com
Natural disasters are not a new phenomenon, however as these events increase in frequency, insurers must be able to assess damage quickly and respond rapidly to claims, so that communities can get back on their feet quickly.
When Hurricane Michael hit the US in 2018, it was one of the strongest hurricanes in history, devastating more than 4,000 miles of Florida Panhandle’s coast. Once the storm cleared, the GIC worked quickly to deploy its Gray Sky Response Program. It sent aircraft into the region carrying Vexcel Imaging’s sophisticated aerial camera system, the UltraCam Osprey, to assess damage. Over the span of two and a half days the GIC flew 85,000 sq km, prioritizing areas with the highest population density to capture ultra-high-resolution imagery.
The images were analyzed and damage was assessed through the use of Esri’s GIS cloud-based technology system. Before and after images were compared and layered on policyholder data to prioritize those with the greatest need for relief.
Post-Hurricane Katrina, the average rate for claims processing was one month. Because of the GIC’s rapid response during Hurricane Michael, insurers were able to validate the damage within 24 hours after the storm, helping insurers pay claims within that same day, so that people affected could begin rebuilding their lives.
This is one example of how through strategic partnerships, like Vexcel Imaging, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, and ESRI the GIC is transforming the insurance industry’s disaster response time and its ability to fight fraud in the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Michael.
This video, produced by ESRI, tells the full story of how the GIC played an instrumental role in making people and communities whole again after this historic storm.
DES PLAINES, Ill., October 31, 2019 — The Kincade Fire has now impacted 76,825 acres in Sonoma County, CA, and is at 45 percent containment as of the last report. According to Cal Fire, a total of 266 structures have been destroyed, 133 being residential, and 47 structures have been damaged, with 32 of those being residential. On Tuesday, in response to the incident, the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC) began flying over the impacted areas, collecting high-resolution aerial images of the damaged structures. The imagery was made available to GIC members yesterday afternoon.
The imagery gives insurers the ability to search an address and view before and after aerial images of properties within the impacted area. These images provide insurers with vital information to better respond and pay claims faster to victims while increasing fraud detection. The imagery is also provided at no cost to emergency personnel, first responders, and law enforcement to assist in their response to the damage.
“The communities affected by this fire are suffering. Firefighters won a huge battle last night, and instead of exploding further, crews managed to hold expansion to just a few hundred acres and double containment,” said Richard Butgereit, director of catastrophe response, GIC. “This marks a turning point for this fire and these communities. Recovery begins with post-disaster damage assessment. It is our hope that by quickly getting high-resolution aerial imagery to our GIC members and public safety stakeholders to assess these damages, we can help speed up the recovery process with the goal to ease this suffering and make these communities whole again.”
In 2017, the NICB started searching for solutions to help its member companies and law enforcement advance technology post-disaster by developing the Geospatial Intelligence Center Program (GIC) that licenses high-resolution aerial images from Vexcel Imaging US, Inc.
“In order to help fight fraud, in the hours and days after a disaster like this one, the GIC fleet of aircraft will fly over impacted areas to capture and assess damage providing members with unprecedented imagery and data on impacted properties,” said Jim Schweitzer, senior vice president and COO, NICB. “This not only so we can serve our members better, but also stop fraudulent insurance claims, which ultimately drive up insurance costs for everyone. Educating consumers is critical. When a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, so we encourage homeowners to make their first call to their insurance company before moving forward with a contractor.”
Geospatial Intelligence Center’s mission is to provide the most comprehensive,
precise, and up-to-date geospatial information to insurers. This insurance
industry consortium delivers geospatial imagery and analytics, leading to more
informed underwriting, better claims decisions, reducing fraud and delivering
faster catastrophe response. GIC’s growing member base includes Travelers,
Metlife, MunichRe, USAA, Allstate, Citizens, and Brit. To learn more visit
ABOUT THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU
Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, learning and development, government affairs and public awareness. The NICB is supported by more than 1,300 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $496 billion in insurance premiums in 2018, or more than 81 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 92 percent ($254 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.