Objectives of the service
The final result of the GeoInsure project represents a ready-to-use exploitation platform custom designed as a full stack of geo services and geodata products for the specific needs of the (re)insurance private sector with an emphasis on natural catastrophes (Nat Cat) and extreme weather events insurance and reinsurance activities. GeoInsure is designed to enable the harmonisation and seamless integration of multiple data sources, allowing (re)insurance companies to obtain a comprehensive perspective of the environment in which their business unfolds. With an emphasis on the NatCat risks considered: floods, earthquakes, landslides, highly specialised in-house algorithms are integrated into GeoInsure allowing extraction of information from geospatial and Earth Observation data, leading to the generation of clear and extensive customised reports. Furthermore, the project is setting the groundwork for a larger Terrasigna initiative entirely dedicated to the (re)insurance market.
GeoInsure will be available to its beneficiaries through 2 types of contract service: installation of the GeoInsure platform on their premises and through an intuitive web-based service: the GeoBrowser.
Users and their needs
The customers envisaged (B2B) are the companies from the (re)insurance sector for the Nat Cat losses. The benefits of using EO data products and services have been discussed before, however its uptake has not been as prevalent as expected. Access to a custom designed exploitation platform will provide them with a better understanding of the context in which they are operating, a faster response towards their clients after a natural disaster has occurred. Additionally, there is increased interest in using geospatial services in detecting insurance fraud.
During the design and development of GeoInsure, the team is actively collaborating with two of the most important companies within the Romanian insurance market in outlining the platform and web-services functionalities, as well as its intuitive and friendly design.
Service/ system concept
GeoInsure's underlying concept is to drape the (re)insurers’ sector with a robust understanding, gained through powerful yet agile solutions, of the geospatial context in which their business is unfolding. Thus, the active and constant interactions with the pilot users are crucial. The following diagram outlines the conceptual iterative process:
GeoInsure platform is designed as a distribution of open source and cloud native components specialized in handling geospatial data (indexing, processing, distributing etc.) with components that are pre-integrated and pre-configured fostering the development of serverless applications suitable for the insurance domain.
The components are configured as building blocks modified to operate together in a coordinated and seamless manner, allowing the development and deployment of new geospatial standardized services with minimal computer science knowledge and effort.
Space Added Value
The Earth Observation component is at the core of GeoInsure and it is shaped by the available relevant data products and satellite imagery, employed in the extraction of relevant information (ex. flooded area, unstable terrain/infrastructure etc.), as well as for the reference layers allowing the beneficiary to understand the environment of where his clients locations are. There have been numerous efforts to support EO uptake by non-traditional sectors and some success in the insurance sector has been registered. However, the uptake is still lagging behind given the results of the newly available EO imagery and technologies. Classic methods are still substantially employed to solve Nat Cat claims and that is due to several reasons that range from limited to no budgets to innovate, lack of internal expertise and/or a ready-to-use solution tailored for very specific requirements, to legal impediments in obtaining funds from external resources to assess new technologies.
The initial data provision plan for GeoInsure includes, but it is not limited to: Copernicus Services map products, MODIS Near Real Time Global Flood Product, Terrasigna’s map product for ground deformation, river discharge and related historical data from ECMWF, through the Climate Data Store, INSPIRE relevant datasets reported by Romanian authorities.
GeoInsure is designed to support the customers in the insurance market to increase the efficiency of their processes by obtaining a comprehensive geospatial perspective of their portfolio. To successfully accomplish this endeavour, it is crucial that the GeoInsure technical and design team best understand the needs, drivers and challenges of the (re)insurance beneficiaries.
During the first stage of the GeoInsure project the team has intensely collaborated with the two pilot users to reach a common understanding and adjust expectations regarding the possibilities made available by including Earth Observation based knowledge into their operational workflows. Throughout multiple physical as well as online meetings, the team has vastly presented the advantages as well as potential limitations of EO based knowledge, as well as the diversity potential platform capabilities.
The next phase of GeoInsure is focused on activities for fine tuning the platform’s design as well as developing the prototype for which Terrasigna team will use the Scrum process framework.