Major insurer improves underwriting using TimeTravel data

The London office of a global general insurer, with more than 320 offices worldwide, approached us with a challenge. They wanted to take an innovative approach to assessing fire risk by looking at the distance of their clients from their nearest fire station. What can we say, we love a challenge.

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The challenge

The client needed to assess the fire risk when preparing underwriting quotes, taking into account the distance to the closest fire station, as well as the type of fire station for every postcode in the UK. Unfortunately at that time, no dataset existed that would bring together all of the relevant data that would be required to solve this client’s needs.

The solution

Beacon Dodsworth set out to create a tailored dataset within their TimeTravel product for use in the client’s desired risk assessment models. Our search revealed that each fire authority has to produce lists of their fire stations. These lists must be published, but the data is available in many different formats. So we undertook a manual process to gather, check and clean the fire station lists. Where possible, the working type of the fire station was recorded; whether full-time, part-time, or volunteer firefighters were on call. Care was taken in noting new stations and station closures.

Meanwhile we took the most detailed road network we had access to, HERE (Navteq) road data, in order to calculate postcode level drive time and distance calculations. For each postcode, we generated the closest two fire stations, based on drive time. The final data tables were delivered in an access database format with annual updates reflecting changes in the fire stations, postcodes and road network.

The benefit

The client was able to use more accurate risk assessment models to tailor insurance premiums more effectively. This kept product prices as competitive as possible, whilst the insurer was able to plan their business more effectively and avoid making losses on claims.

We were able to use the proven and robust functionality of our TimeTravel product alongside our own in-depth knowledge of the data landscape to develop an innovative and bespoke solution for our client. If you have a problem that you think could be answered with geographical data or a new approach you’d like to take, but aren’t sure where to start, please do get in touch.



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