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McKenzie Intelligence Services5/20/20 12:00 AM3 min read

Technology-led intelligence will reveal true cost of Covid-19 business interruption

Earlier this month, Lloyd’s of London revealed it expects to pay up to $4.3bn to its global customers as a result of the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19.

While these are initial estimates, there is no doubt the losses associated with this devastating global pandemic are testing industry limits in ways other large industry events, such as 9/11 and large-scale hurricanes, have done so in the past.

But Covid-19 has tested the market in a whole other manner as well. Prior to Covid-19, the industry has dealt with events at their desks, in face to face meetings, in boardrooms and together in person with their clients. Today, we approach the impact of this pandemic almost completely remotely, changing many of the usual practices the industry and its clients are used to.

The true impact of technology has been unlocked.

Already, we know of many insurers reporting up to a 200% rise in claim volumes, and a corresponding rise in general queries and sadly, complaints. The emphasis on changing the way we approach claims handling has never been more crucial than it is today. It will also set a new precedent of how the industry must respond moving forward.

Business interruption (BI) and the associated losses and claims has become the biggest talking point and challenge for the industry. The necessity to be able to access accurate, transparent and time sensitive data in order to make clear sense of a claim has never been more important.

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The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has indicated that insurers need to respond quickly and clearly to BI losses, following poor press recently about exclusions and a lack of clarity for struggling policyholders.

Clear internal processes, tight management of third party resources and access to trusted data sources will all aid an insurer’s response and speed up decision making.

As the industry adapts to a new way of working through these challenging times, so must the solutions available to enable a smooth running of service.

Technology enabled analysis

At MIS, we’ve been working on how to decipher business interruption claims with accuracy for some time and Covid-19 has spurred us on in our mission to achieve the most accurate and transparent version of the truth from the ground to benefit both the industry and its clients.

As the impact of Covid-19 began to unravel, our efforts to get a clear picture of the impact of this event doubled. We’ve been working tirelessly to build a solution the industry can both trust and rely on to convey the most informative data to their clients on the scale of the event and how it will reveal the true cost of BI. Our bespoke Covid-19 dashboard helps to establish the circumstances around claims across the world and which restrictions around social gatherings and movement of people, restrictions to business trading and supply chains were in place when, as well as overlaying data around cancelled events and the spread of the virus.

intelligence dashboard

We are experts in solving business interruption queries for the market by providing the truth from the ground from any point in time, using intelligence techniques not available traditionally. Last year, for example, we helped a London Market insurer defend a US based BI loss worth over £40m by establishing exactly when employees and customers were able to return to the site following a natural catastrophe.

We use data from all available sources from the area in question, using skills learnt from years of training in the UK Military Intelligence branch . Such data will include:

  • all aerial, radar and satellite imagery;
  • up-to-date mapping and models;
  • local and regional authority data;
  • media reporting;
  • traffic data, open source, CCTV and more.

The data from these sources is processed independently of each other to produce a number of geographic layers on our GIS platform, the sum of which is used to produce a consolidated picture of the ‘ground truth’ over the reporting period.

At a time when the market needs innovation and trusted third parties the most when tackling BI losses, we haven’t skipped a beat in providing the support needed.