Chicago, IL (March 13, 2019) – Aon plc (NYSE:AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, has established a strategic alliance with Zesty.ai, an InsurTech startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Zesty.ai’s technology enhances insurers’ underwriting through access to more than 130 billion data points on buildings and their surroundings which enable granular risk analysis and informed pricing. The data is obtained leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) on regularly updated satellite and aerial imagery and other data sources – without ever setting foot on the premises.
Using Aon’s distribution network, insurers can evaluate their portfolio risk through Zesty.ai’s wildfire risk model and also obtain high fidelity property insights for underwriting both catastrophic and attritional risk.
The recent California wildfires caused insured losses of US$16 billion in 2017 and up to US$18 billion in 2018, according to Aon’s Impact Forecasting team. Historically, wildfire has been challenging to model; additionally, Fire Hazard Severity Zone maps tend to lack granularity on the physical attributes of properties, which can help insurance companies more accurately price each risk. Zesty.ai’s new wildfire model (Z-FIRETM) addresses this challenge by utilizing machine learning to combine vital property details – including vegetation, building materials, topography, weather patterns among others – with actual loss data. These factors at the individual property level create a predictive risk score, which provides a critical tool to evaluate risk. Z-FIRE complements Aon’s US wildfire catastrophe model from Impact Forecasting for reinsurance purchase and exposure management.
Insurers can also leverage Zesty.ai’s Property Risk Analytics Platform to more accurately capture individual property characteristics. Homeowners’ data is often self-reported by the insured or derived through costly property inspections. Through Aon, insurers can now access Zesty.ai’s 130 billion data points on US properties which are designed to easily integrate into existing systems and models. Additionally, this collection process enhances the consumer experience by pre-filling key attributes and removing the need for research from the policyholder. Finally, the process equates to a tangible benefit of a clearer understanding of the insured portfolio while simultaneously decreasing loss ratios due to high fidelity data and expense ratios due to fewer physical inspections.
George deMenocal, President and US CEO of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business, explained: “Immediate access to new, useable and meaningful data insights is continuing to advance insurance underwriting. Instant insights on risk are becoming an increasingly important element for insurers as they modernize their underwriting platforms. This technology evolution, coupled with new partnerships, brings opportunities for Aon to deliver new products that meet clients’ needs today and tomorrow, in a transparent and efficient way.”
Jobay Cooney, Senior Managing Director and Head of InsurTech for Aon, noted that: “Aon is committed to helping clients adopt new technologies that advance their strategic initiatives. We chose to partner with Zesty.ai as they have demonstrated they are an innovative leader in this space and that insurers can derive value from their granular data and visual assessments. This value includes customer engagement, underwriting accuracy, inspection cost savings and post-event claims analysis – plus offering premiums that more accurately reflect the risk to their customers.”
Attila Toth, CEO of Zesty.ai, stated: “We are honored that Aon has chosen to enter into a strategic alliance with Zesty.ai. Aon is the trusted advisor to insurance carriers globally with deep expertise in catastrophic risk management accumulated over decades. As a nimble InsurTech, Zesty.ai can bring the latest technologies, such as AI, machine, learning, and big data analytics to the Property & Casualty insurance industry. In collaboration with Aon, we can offer carriers a powerful, data-driven solution to better underwrite, manage risk and delight customers with a digital buying experience.”
Previously named as the "Most Innovative InsurTech" at Plug and Play's 2018 Summer Summit, Zesty.ai was also recently selected by Zurich from 459 global InsurTech startups as Silver Winner of the Zurich Innovation World Championship.