When risk becomes reality: A story of wildfire risk and an interrupted meal

Organizations that understand the value of data accuracy are able to identify and manage location risk effectively, to the benefit of all.

Fri Jul 28 11:34:00 EDT 2017

We all need accurate and timely information when it comes to managing risk, and I was made acutely aware of this recently.

Last year my brother and his family moved to Santa Barbara, California. A serene spot with the ocean, palm trees and beautiful weather. I asked him if he missed the notoriously wonderful variety of weather that England offers. His response was a pretty conclusive, ‘hmmm….no’ – and the reality is, as someone who loves hot weather, it was a poor attempt on my part to try to make myself feel better.

After about a year of him being away, he and his family came to visit two weeks ago. One evening, we parents managed to get some precious time in without the children (a special event, as anyone who has little ones will know!). We went to a restaurant that holds many memories of evenings spent laughing and eating good food. This evening was a little different, however.

We had a great time, but it was interrupted as my brother was alerted to a series of WhatsApp messages from locals back in Santa Barbara telling them that the recent wildfires have escalated and were now within five miles of their house. They were now having to coordinate the removal of precious valuables from the home. Fortunately, they narrowly avoided disaster and a potential ‘welcome home’ gift of some temporary accommodation. There was huge relief.

We all benefit from tech solutions

While friends alerted my brother, we increasingly expect immediate and accurate notifications about weather or other potential perils through software applications. As such, the tech industry continues to react to this. Google recently announced that they have added SOS alerts to their maps, while more advanced mapping tools allow organizations to publish consumable maps to employees or the public. The fact is accurate data, well presented and delivered in a timely manner, can save lives, as was recently covered by Sky TV in Australia.

On the business side, insurers need accurate data and mapping to help them identify and manage risk across their portfolio. As prime real estate becomes increasingly scarce, especially in areas where beauty as well as risks abound, there is a greater need than ever for insurers and other organizations to protect both themselves and their clients. Moreover, as my brother will attest, mobile apps help too!

Learn more about how insurers can use software solutions to mitigate risk, define coverage areas and personalize customer interactions.