ForestRe gains competitive advantage using satellite data for insurance

Added to
February 19, 2024
August 9, 2022

ForestRe provides a worldwide portfolio of forestry insurance serving a wide range of customers in over 26 countries, including community forestry investment, organisations owning forests, and timber investment management organisation. ForestRe has over 25 years of knowledge on tree type vulnerability, forests, forest management, and fire behaviour. It uses this knowledge to calculate frequency, severity and, above all, the Probable Maximum Loss (PML) value of forest assets. Once the rate of loss is determined, ForestRe insures forests based on the likelihood of environmental risks, such as severe flooding, fires, and hurricanes.

"Pre-Earth Blox, it would take us days to get an end-result. With Earth Blox, we're down to 40 minutes from start to finish - and have confidence in the results." - Phil Cottle, Head of Forestry, ForestRe

See how Earth Blox is used for insurance risk modelling here.

In recent years, largely because of climate change, ForestRe saw a greater demand for clarity on the provenance of the data and relevant risk assessment data. More than ever, the underwriters at ForestRe needed accurate data to assess risk. As a result, ForestRe searched for satellite data for insurance. They needed a research-based solution to improve the speed of data collection, accuracy of analysis, and quality of modelling within their rating process.

ForestRe quickly identified remotely collected Earth observation (EO) data as a suitable alternative to their existing data sources. Unlocking a world of rapid geospatial insights would empower ForestRe to plan, prioritise, and manage environmental risks to forests. A more accurate risk assessment of their insured plantations would deliver many benefits to their business. Whilst the team at ForestRe are forest asset experts, they cannot use EO tools that typically require advanced coding ability. They surveyed the market, looking for an application that would process EO data in a simple, fast, and effortless manner. ForestRe chose Earth Blox to meet their needs.

Earth Blox is quick to set up and easy to use

Earth Blox gives ForestRe an easy-to-use, web-based platform for near real-time geospatial analytics using Google Earth Engine as a primary data source. It simplifies access to many petabytes of planetary-scale satellite intelligence covering forests globally. The intuitive interface attracted ForestRe users who don’t have deep domain EO knowledge. Earth Blox worked with ForestRe to develop custom workflows for their specific needs, including functionality to analyse forest burn scars, wildfires, and drought indices. Earth Blox continues to work closely with ForestRe risk analysts as they explore the benefits that advanced EO insights can deliver.

Earth Blox delivers many business benefits

As a result of using Earth Blox, ForestRe is competing more effectively in forest insurance internationally and is seeing excellent business growth.

Earth Blox provides ForestRe with an accurate, transparent process for measuring risk from evidentially robust EO data, removing the reliance on client-based loss data, poor client data, or, in some cases, no data at all. As Earth Blox enables ForestRe to access data within a wider geographical spread where field research would have been impossible to carry out, an improved portfolio performance helps ForestRe generate more consistently positive and reliable underwriting results.

Earth Blox frees up the underwriters’ precious time, empowering them to increase daily efficiencies in delivering the most comprehensive risk analysis possible. This will naturally extend ForestRe’s client base and help them retain existing clients whose loyalty will grow. With a greater conversion of risk clients to buyers of insurance comes a better awareness, confidence and trust in ForestRe’s insurance services, leading to a growth in commissions. In turn, ForestRe’s already well-respected reputation within the forestry industry can only improve.

Learn more about insurance risk modelling using Earth Blox here.

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