Software to map out property risk for Hibernian


23 Oct 2006

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Hibernian, the country’s largest general insurance company, has implemented a new mapping software system that scores properties based on location, which it claimed will result in fairer pricing to consumers.

The insurance provider has installed LocationAgent software, supplied by the Dublin company Mapflow, as part of a risk assessment and decision support system called GEO. The system is used to measure risk at an individual property level rather than relying on the traditional, county-based rating.

It is believed that this will allow Hibernian to offer prices that accurately reflect the likelihood of individual properties being damaged, for example by flooding. Hibernian insures close to 20pc of households in Ireland.

GEO automatically assesses and prices household business based on the risk profile of any given property. To support commercial underwriters in arriving at an accurate assessment of a property, the system provides detailed mapping information as well as risk models and internal policy and claims data.

According to Richard Bryce, Mapflow CEO, many commercial and household insurers have begun assessing risk at an individual property level as part of their underwriting strategies.

Sharon O’Brien, executive manager for product development and marketing at Hibernian, claimed that property insurance customers would no longer have to pay premiums based on insurers’ experience of large, easily definable areas. “This solution allows us to redefine our rating areas on a much more granular and dynamic basis to offer fairer pricing to more customers,” she said.

By Gordon Smith