Business News: AF Group, Verisk, Understory

July 2, 2018

AF Group Expands Into Commercial Auto

AF Group announced its expansion into commercial auto insurance with the launch of Fundamental Underwriters, a new product aimed at providing superior insurance coverage for accounts with specialty risks.

Fundamental Underwriters is a managing general underwriter, specializing in expert management and competitive pricing of harder-to-place risks, delivering individual underwriting solutions, consultative loss control programs and rapid claims resolution. Led by Rob Westburg, a 30-year veteran in the insurance and transportation sector, Fundamental writes primary commercial auto and physical damage through Third Coast Insurance Company, an A.M. Best “A-” non-admitted company insuring public and private fleets of 30 to 300 units. Fundamental’s initial appetite is trucks plated in Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia. The brand presently writes more than $2 million in commercial trucking premium.

Fundamental Underwriters is based in Chicago, with claims, underwriting and loss control staff led by Westburg in Pennsylvania.

Verisk Acquires Validus-IVC

Verisk, a data analytics provider, announced it acquired Validus-IVC, a claims management solutions provider and developer of a subrogation portal in the UK, verify. Validus-IVC has offices in Norwich and Bath, United Kingdom.

The integration of Validus-IVC’s verify platform with Verisk’s global claims analytic services will allow customers to take advantage of enhanced analytic and technology tools to help improve and automate the claims settlement process. With the addition of the subrogation platform to its existing claims solution set, Verisk is uniquely positioned to support the UK insurance market at every stage in the life of a claim.

Understory Launches Weather Intelligence Storm Estimates

Understory, the weather network and analytics company, announced the launch of Weather Intelligence Storm Estimates (WISE), auto-generated assessments after hail events that help insurers better understand post-storm policyholder behavior, claims submission timing and adjuster experience requirements for assessing damage.

After a hail event, a WISE assessment is automatically delivered to clients to provide an estimate of claims volume and total indemnity. Driven by damage analytics combined with historical claiming information, WISE’s machine learning model predicts human behavior relative to claim submissions in areas both where damage occurs and where it does not. Planning metrics include:

  • Policyholder behavior—Claiming volume for areas of likely property damage, damage-related insight based on property characteristics and the ability to recognize potential fraud.
  • Adjuster experience—Adjuster workforce requirements relative to adjuster experience in storm aftermath.
  • Submission timing—Claims volume expected through First Notice of Loss each week following an event.

During a 2017 Denver hail storm that caused more than $1.4 billion in damages, Understory provided reliable, ground weather data previously unavailable to insurers and secured loss control of 15 to 30 percent. With on-the-ground weather stations, hyper-local weather can be understood with resolution and accuracy to streamline operational challenges and economic consequences.

With 500 stations deployed across five major metropolitan areas, Understory has worked with the insurance industry to analyze over 1,500,000 policyholders and 100,000 claims. An increase in sensor network to 5,000 sensors is planned by the end of 2019. Networks will cover regions responsible for over 50 percent of the average annual storm loss and over 90 percent of all weather-related catastrophes.

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