The Challenge of Assessing Risk of Damage from Non-Weather Related Events

The Challenge of Assessing Risk of Damage from Non-Weather Related Events
Despite Mother Nature’s unpredictable events, sophisticated catastrophic risk and weather verification models have made it possible for insurance carriers to take into account natural hazard risk in underwriting. Surprisingly, it has historically been more challenging for insurers to quantify the non-weather-related events when assessing the risk of a property.
Thanks to big data from resources such as smart home devices, today’s insurance carriers are now able to more accurately underwrite the risk of loss exposure associated with damage that wasn’t caused by Mother Nature.

The Majority of Fires are Related to Malfunctions and Human Error
According to the latest research from the National Fire Protection Association, only 16 percent of fires resulting in property damage to structures are caused by weather-related events such as lightning and wildfires. That means that the vast majority of fires–84 percent–are related to malfunctions with fixtures and lighting systems within the home or human error, such as a cooking accident.

To make matters even more challenging, the use of synthetic petroleum-based materials in today’s construction materials and home furnishings make homes more vulnerable to burning at a faster pace. In fact, research shows that today’s homes burn 6 times faster than those built 30 years ago as a result of these newer materials being used in the home.

On a positive note, technology such as smart fire alarms and smart appliances that shut off after use can help to mitigate the risk of fire due to malfunctions and human error. Insurance carriers that tap into the data that comes from these devices can significantly reduce their risk of experiencing a loss.

Plumbing Failures are a Leading Cause of Water Damage
Weather-related flooding is often the first thing that comes to mind when discussing water damage to property; however, another way that water can cause significant damage to a property is through a plumbing failure. Research reveals that 20 percent of homeowner insurance losses nationwide are related to plumbing failures.

Historically, insurance carriers did not have access to non-weather-related risk models to take into account potential damage from plumbing failures such as leaking pipes or an overflowing toilet. Fortunately, advancements in technology in recent years have made it possible for insurance carriers to have access to wealth of data to more accurately anticipate and underwrite potential risks such as plumbing failures.

Data and new risk models have greatly benefited the property and casualty insurance industry in recent years, and coupling this information with a property inspection allows insurance carriers to make more informed underwriting decisions.

Make More Informed Underwriting Decisions with Insurance Risk Services
Our team at Insurance Risk Services has been partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers for nearly 40 years to help them strengthen their underwriting practices. We can add value to your and your insureds by completing a through, in-person property inspection to help you best determine which risks are worth taking.

Contact us at Insurance Risk Services to learn more about our in-person property inspection process and how we can provide value to your business.