satellite monitoring and analytics for insurance companies
  • Agribusiness solutions

Satellite Imagery Analytics For Insurance Providers

In today’s rapidly evolving insurance landscape, agribusiness (re)insurers are constantly seeking innovative ways to reduce the exposed risk and streamline claim processing.

In this exclusive interview with Lina Yarysh, Head of Customer Success at EOS Data Analytics, she sheds light on the transformative potential of satellite data analytics for (re)insurance businesses serving companies in the agriculture industry.

What Are Modern-Day Challenges Insurers Face That Satellite Data Can Help Address?

One of the primary challenges is dealing with missing or unorganized data about fields, which is crucial for accurate customer risk profiling and pricing of crop yield that is affected by drought, frost, insect infestation, disease, etc. Currently, insurers collect data about yields by means of crop-cutting experiments, which are expensive and non-scalable.

Satellite data, on the contrary, is an easy-to-scale solution to that problem. Combining crop-cutting experiments with satellite analytics allows for covering bigger areas with better accuracy. Additionally, we can provide data like weather statistics (precipitation levels, temperatures) and historical data on soil moisture levels within the last 20 years, which enables the creation of more accurate risk maps for underwriting. EOS Data Analytics can provide this data, and our scientific department can assist with proper model development.

Another set of challenges revolves around high operational and administrative costs, time-consuming claim validation, and the necessity of constant policy review due to the ever-changing risks caused by climate change. Satellite data analytics can streamline these processes by offering near real-time monitoring of geographically dispersed croplands, simplifying risk assessment, and automating claim validation. This not only reduces costs but also enables insurers to provide better, more transparent services to their clients.

So Do Insurance Businesses Require Only A Reliable Satellite Data Provider To Immediately Power Up Their Game?

Well, it is a crucial step toward enhancing insurance operations, but it is important to recognize that the insurance sector has spent decades developing intricate risk management, claim assessment, and premium payout strategies. These models are highly advanced, with numerous interconnections, and do not require an overhaul to be further improved. EOS Data Analytics understands that satellite or weather data is just an additional parameter making risk maps even more accurate and acknowledges the need for a more nuanced approach to integrating satellite data into (re)insurers’ existing processes.

For instance, recently we provided a yellow index for more accurate detection of canola flowering dates for one of our customers. They incorporated it into their index-based insurance model to track the impact of high temperatures during the canola’s flowering stage on its yield.

EOSDA’s strategy also involves optimizing insurers’ current processes and flows, while simultaneously improving the accuracy and reliability of risk management models with satellite data and their scientific expertise. By combining our knowledge in obtaining and processing satellite data with the insurer’s established groundwork in the agro-insurance sector, a more seamless and effective integration can be achieved. This collaborative approach allows insurers to harness the power of satellite data analytics without disrupting their existing systems, ultimately resulting in a more efficient and accurate insurance model for agribusinesses.

How Can EOSDA Products and Services Be Valuable For Insurance Companies?

Here we practice two approaches.

The first approach involves utilizing the EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform as a standalone product. It serves as a single point of truth for both insurers and their clients, enabling them to access critical agricultural data in a centralized location. By offering a transparent and data-driven view of crop health, growth stages, and field conditions, the EOSDA Crop Monitoring platform helps insurers build stronger relationships with their clients through increased transparency. It also allows them to standardize the underwriting process, assess the damage, create inspection reports and share them with the management, as well as confirm sowing and harvesting activities.

The second approach focuses on leveraging satellite and weather data, combined with the expertise of EOSDA’s scientific team, to create or enhance index insurance products and facilitate better risk management. By incorporating up-to-date high-resolution data into their risk models, reinsurance companies can assess and price risks more accurately, which leads to better-informed underwriting decisions and a more efficient claims process. This data-driven approach not only enables insurers to provide more tailored solutions to agribusiness clients but also contributes to the overall resilience and sustainability of the agricultural insurance sector.

Finally, we’re looking at the problems strategically and understand that better quality and affordable data is key for better risk profiling accuracy. This is one of the reasons we recently launched our first satellite EOS SAT-1 providing (re)insurers with 2.8 m multispectral and 1.5 m panchromatic resolution images of target areas all over the globe on a daily basis. With such data, the insurance sector will be able to reach better accuracy of their region- and country-scale risk assessment models for an affordable price.

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How Exactly Can (Re)Insurers Integrate Crop Monitoring Into Their Workflow?

Let’s consider a scenario where a client approaches their insurer, stating they have experienced an insurance event that has led to a loss of yields in their field.

Upon filing a claim, the underwriting manager from the fundraising department is responsible for verifying the claim (i.e., confirming the insurance event actually occurred) and assessing the damage. By using EOSDA Crop Monitoring and its data on the indices, such as the NDVI, the underwriting manager can quickly determine if a specific part of the field has indeed been damaged.

However, if the event or claim appears questionable, the insurer may opt to send a representative to the field for further investigation or generally prioritize field visits according to the severity of the insurance event. Underwriters can use the EOSDA Crop Monitoring mobile application to fill out a report with field conditions on the spot.

Ultimately, EOSDA Crop Monitoring helps optimize insurers’ operations by saving time and money that would otherwise be spent on field expeditions, while also ensuring a more accurate and efficient claim verification process.

And Providing Raw Data Helps Reinsurers Improve Their Models, Right?

Yes, for index-based approaches, reinsurers can use extra parameters to enhance their complex models. This is where EOSDA comes in — by providing additional information, such as historical satellite data, weather reports, soil moisture and drought indices, temperature, rainfall graphs, and more to enrich the model and improve its accuracy.

For example, let’s take a closer look at the soil moisture data. We receive it on a daily basis with a resolution of 250 meters, and historical data is available since 2002. Having such data is critically important for (re)insurers when you need to detect potential drought areas and spot changes in moisture availability in the soil in a timely manner.

This ultimately results in a more effective risk management system for reinsurers, benefiting both the insurers and their clients.

Yet Satellite Data Exists For A While Now. Do New-Generation Technologies Bring Any Extra Benefits For Insurers?

Absolutely. Latest tech advancements bring incredible and game-changing benefits for insurers.

The existence of satellite technologies in the market has allowed for the collection of historical data on previous yields and field changes, enabling the identification of long-term crop trends. With the integration of AI, we can now make extremely accurate yield predictions by analyzing this wealth of historical data.

Today, advancements in satellite technology have expanded the range of collectible data, such as soil moisture measurements at different depths. Also, EOSDA’s agricultural satellite constellation named EOS SAT, planned for completion by 2025, will provide higher-resolution imagery in 13 spectral bands, covering over 10 million square kilometers daily.

In the following years, the increasing use of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites will enable even more extensive field analysis regardless of cloud cover, ensuring consistent and reliable data acquisition.

These exciting advancements promise to greatly benefit insurance companies in the coming years.

How Do You Help Insurers Incorporate Satellite Technologies Into Their Processes Today?

As head of customer success, my primary goal is to make sure that our product brings value to our customers. My team and I are responsible for the proper adoption of the product.

To facilitate this, EOS Data Analytics offers a tailored cadence of training specifically designed to fit the insurers’ workflow, alongside continuous support, comprehensive documentation, and supplementary webinars throughout the lifetime of the partnership. The company’s goal is to ensure that its partners and customers feel confident and well-equipped to fully harness the potential of satellite data in their insurance operations.

We recognize that there is a lot to comprehend, but rest assured that our team is here to assist you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or to schedule a demo. We look forward to embarking on this exciting journey together!

About the author:

Rim Elijah VP of Sales at EOS Data Analytics

Rim Elijah joined EOSDA in early 2020. She holds a double degree in business administration and political science from Stockholm University.

Rim is VP of Sales at EOSDA. She is overseeing all aspects of business model development and implementation, maintenance of positive business & customer experience, and the growth of the company’s global coverage. She is responsible for closing deals, scaling up ongoing projects, as well as the development and implementation of process control within the Sales department. Rim also regularly takes part in negotiations with important clients.

So far, Rim has managed to successfully establish a number of strategic partnerships with an emphasis on the delivery of sustainable solutions in various regions of Africa and Asia.

In addition to her main responsibilities, Rim is presently involved in the upcoming launch of the first agri-based satellite constellation by EOSDA, scheduled for mid-2022. She manages relationships with the EOS SAT investors.

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