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Aviva harnesses the power of geographic intelligence for underwriting

  • Moving to OS VectorMap Local has been a significant advance for us. From viewing only selected features and using the attribution we are able to model a number of scenarios for the business.

    Eleanor Mclachlan, GIS Manager, Aviva UK

Aviva Insurance UK has been using Ordnance Survey data from the very beginning of their involvement with GI systems and data in 2003. The datasets are used by Aviva’s commercial property underwriters to assess risk and manage accumulation whilst also being used by their dedicated GIS team. The team use Aviva’s desktop GI systems (ESRI ArcGIS) to process flood and other peril models; provide rating factors for use in pricing models; and to support the business by providing spatial analysis and geo-visualisation.

Continued investment

As a result of Aviva’s longstanding investment in geo-technologies it has enabled many customers who previously found it hard to obtain property insurance to get cover. Their extensive use of GI systems and spatial information allows Aviva to accurately and efficiently assess each customer’s individual circumstances to offer the right price for the right risk.

Continued improvement

The GIS team have in the past used various Ordnance Survey raster maps to provide background mapping and geographic context. By switching to open source raster data and recently upgrading to OS VectorMap® Local they are now able to drill down to individual building polygons and property boundaries. Using OS MasterMap® Address Layer 2 in conjunction with OS VectorMap Local Aviva have been able to accurately locate and visualise individual addresses and important objects without postal addresses, including anything from ponds to substations. Aviva overlays this data to achieve a greater level of risk evaluation at every individual property in Great Britain. This removes the need for averaging risk across postcodes and allows Aviva to treat each customer according to their individual level of risk.

Aviva has access to a wealth of internal data which can be geocoded and mapped to further enhance risk assessment. The GIS team use internal data such as claims, policies and branch locations within their spatial analysis. Third party data such as flood and other peril models, geodemographic data and digital elevation models are also used. The team has the ability to quickly and efficiently map and visualise these spatial datasets allowing the business to identify spatial trends which would not otherwise be apparent. Along with being able to view and analyse many different types of data from disparate sources within one system.

Heading up the GIS team at Aviva UK, Eleanor Mclachlan said ‘Moving to OS VectorMap Local has been a significant advance for us. From viewing only selected features and using the attribution we are able to model a number of scenarios for the business. As a customisable map we can provide multiple views and backdrops to support our work. For example, it allows us to view detailed topographic information such as individual building outlines and river networks. As an object-based vector product it allows us to calculate rating factors which help us to better understand individual risks.

Continuing development

Eleanor is excited about the future, she enthuses ‘Geo-systems are increasingly being used by non-GIS experts. The general population are becoming more familiar with GI systems and data thanks to systems such as Google maps, route planners and other location based services which have become part of everyday life.’

This trend is now being seen in the commercial organisation where non GIS professionals want to be able to analyse their data not just via traditional spreadsheets and graphs, but by viewing their data on a map. Commercial geo-systems are evolving to allow teams outside of the dedicated GIS team to do this. Eleanor concludes ‘I see this evolution happening within Aviva with the ability to view, interrogate and analyse spatial data being made more widely available throughout the business.’

Aviva is also working in conjunction with Ordnance Survey to fully understand and unlock the additional value that the new national address gazetteer datasets will provide.

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