Geocoding Insurance for Aviva

Aviva was one of the first insurers to realise the potential of location intelligence technologies.

In the changing world of the 21st century, new challenges – particularly in the area of climate change -, have been thrown up for both insurers and consumers.

In 2003, following catastrophic flooding in 2000 and 2002, and faced with the threat of global warming, Aviva embarked on Ireland’s first, privately-funded flood mapping project. This project was one of the first insurance applications of geocoding and geographic information systems (GIS) in Ireland. “It opened our eyes to the technology’s potential for our business,” says Pat Kenny of Aviva Insurance.

Without geocoding, risks can only be assessed and rated within clearly definable areas. This assumes all properties within a wide geographical area, such as a county, are at equal risk from flood, storm and subsidence damage. This frequently meant that the existence of small, high-risk pockets meant higher insurance premiums for every  property in an  area.

Claim pattern analyses

By combining custom-built GIS software with GeoDirectory’s electronic register of unique addresses and precise locations, Aviva was able to systematically analyse claims patterns. And by overlaying other data, it was able to discover relationships and patterns that would have remained hidden using more - traditional analysis techniques.

This allowed Aviva to assess property risks at a very granular level, and offer insurance prices that truly reflect the risks associated with an individual property, rather than the wider, easily-definable, geographic area.

Today, Geo, the catch-all phrase for all Aviva’s GIS projects, is helping Aviva to answer business-critical questions right across the organisation. These questions are not restricted to core insurance competencies such as risk management and pricing, but also generic business considerations such as efficiency and customer service.

For example:

• Can Aviva’s inspectors or adjusters get to customers more quickly?
• Do Aviva’s Approved Repairer and Breakdown networks provide adequate coverage?
• Is the company adequately resourced to deal with a surge in claim numbers after a catastrophic storm?

As a result of the advances made in this field by Aviva, the company was shortlisted and subsequently “highly commended” in the 2006 BCS IM Awards - the premier European recognition of excellence and innovation in the management of business information.
The use of GIS in insurance is the most significant development in decades, and winning insurers will be those who fully embed the technology in their business processes, from initial quotation all the way through to final claims settlement. Geocoding is now firmly embedded in all of our point -of - sale systems, with hundreds of thousands of cases geocoded since launch. The unique GeoDirectory database has been an essential ingredient of this successful transformation. - Pat Kenny, Aviva
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