4 reasons why digital is perfect for flood insurance

In the Media

3 min read · Aug 16, 2019

Using digital technologies within the insurance quote and bind process makes the entire transaction less painful.

Home in Flood

Digital tools make flood insurance more accessible to the market and help more people and businesses access this critical coverage. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

Recent advancements in digital technology have created the perfect storm, in a good way, for insurers, agents and consumers involved in providing and buying flood insurance.

New capabilities in data speeds, mobile technology, advanced reporting and cloud-based systems have enabled significant benefits for all parties involved.

However, there are a few reasons that stand out above all the others as to why digital technologies are changing the flood insurance landscape.

No one likes to shop for insurance

Buying insurance is confusing, expensive and time consuming. By using digital technologies within the insurance quote and bind process, much of the pain can be eliminated. Some insurers are modeling their purchase process around the Amazon model, using intuitive design and offering product suggestions based on artificial intelligence (AI) and interactive user interfaces.

So what are the biggest benefits of all this new tech, you ask?

Four reasons to go digital

  1. Save Money. Digital technology allows insurers to evaluate the characteristics of a home, the property, flood hazards nearby, and the risk of inundation without the traditional, and expensive, home inspections, elevation certificates, and photos that have historically been required. Eliminating these costs is a savings to the insurer that translates into savings for the consumer. In addition, these technologies enable a shopping experience where you can get an accurate quote for your home or business by answering just a few questions online. For flood, this is completely new.
  2. Improve Accuracy. Interactive, highly accurate geospatial maps allow for remote inspection or automated risk evaluation. Higher quality mapping with visual simulations and actual photos from sources such as Google Maps, Zillow, Google Street View, and other sources provide a level of detail in seconds that used to take days to gather, if it could be gathered at all. Advanced geocoding with perimeter validation provide certainty that the location being evaluated is accurate and thorough. Better property detail leads to better-targeted risk evaluation and often better rates.
  3. Save Time. “I can’t wait to fill out this 54-question form so that I can buy flood insurance!” said no one, ever. Instant evaluation of properties using public data eliminates the need for redundant data entry, or worse, searching files and paper records for property data such as square footage, year built, elevation certificates, and construction details. Due to digital technology and digital analytics, insurers are able to transform a confusing, time-intensive process into an easy, accurate, and consumer-friendly workflow. One hour of work condensed down to two minutes. Not so bad after all!
  4. Save the Planet. Have you read your new policy that you got in the mail? All 142 pages? Ever? Nor have many other people. Digital technology allows insurers to eliminate loads of paper and transportation overhead out of the process: Email delivery of policy packets; electronic document signature; web portals for referral to policy documents; first notice of loss via mobile phone images on your insurer’s web app; and even drone inspection of property damage after a storm. Collectively, that saves a lot of trees.

Taken together, this relative tidal wave of technology (sorry…) that has become available in the past few years is changing the flood insurance world in a very positive way. The best part is that it is making flood insurance more accessible to the market and helping more people and businesses get critical coverage for one of the most common disasters related to personal and commercial property.

Jim Albert ([email protected]) is CEO Neptune Flood in St. Petersburg, Fla. These opinions are his own.