Property & Casualty Insurance: Getting Risk Right – Underwriting and location intelligence

Whitepaper by Canadian Underwriter, sponsored by DMTI Spatial

Toronto, ON (Feb. 17, 2017) – Underwriting is the essence of property and casualty insurance. The ability to accurately assess risk and properly price individual exposures is the difference between profit and loss on insurer balance sheets.

Many observers have asked whether underwriting is an art or science. Clearly, it is both. Underwriting requires the skill of human interpretation reinforced with the rigors of data and analytics. The difference today is the speed in which information, particularly location intelligence, can be integrated into the real-time world of underwriter decision-making.

With the advent of newer, more robust technologies, many of the lower-value production tasks that underwriters have dealt with in the past are now becoming automated. This frees up time for more strategic initiatives, such as risk assessment, portfolio management, client segmentation and even new product development.

Insurance companies have long recognized the importance of location-based information in underwriting and pricing. Most insurers have used some form of postal code segmentation or even limited geo-coding to map out risks.

However, limitations apply to these traditional approaches. The first is that postal code boundaries (or Forward Sortation Area, FSA, boundaries) are too broad and can result in misleading concentrations of risk. The second is the inability to quickly determine risks associated with a particular property, such as natural or man-made hazards. The sheer amount of data in terms of maps or software has made integration difficult for underwriters facing tight timelines and business demands.

Today, modern location intelligence solutions are transforming the underwriting process. They give front line underwriters the ability to quickly and intuitively understand the exposures associated with one address – or an entire portfolio. Geospatial analysis has evolved from a back-office, ‘afterthe-fact’ function to a leading role in real-time underwriting decisions.

This paper is designed to explore the advantages and challenges of adopting a comprehensive approach to location intelligence in the modern underwriting environment.

Read more: view or download the whitepaper.

About DMTI Spatial

DMTI Spatial, a member of the Neopost group, is the Canadian market leader in location based information and data quality. For almost 20 years, DMTI Spatial has been providing industry leading location economics and Master Address Management (MAM) solutions to Global 2000 companies and government agencies. DMTI Spatial is the creator of market leading CanMap® mapping solutions, Location Hub® and maintains the gold standard for GIS location-based data in Canada. DMTI Spatial is headquartered in Markham, Ontario. Learn more at

Source: DMTI Spatial