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LV=’s Richard Ellis: mapping data allows us to fine-tune our customer offering

Richard has worked in the insurance industry for over 25 years, primarily in underwriting and pricing roles within the Commercial Insurance arena. He is currently Commercial Pricing Director at LV=, where he oversees implementation of pricing and certain underwriting risk models.

How long have you been using Ordnance Survey data?

I started using Ordnance Survey data over 10 years ago during my time in the Commercial Head Office at RSA, where a flood risk mapping system was introduced. I have now been able to recently implement similar technology within LV= Commercial, including AddressBase.

What do you find most useful?

The ability for an underwriter to immediately identify the position of a building on a map, along with being able to assess flood (and other peril) risk is very powerful. Instant decisions can be made as to whether or not we are able to provide flood cover to prospective policyholders.

Also, the ability to highlight a particular area on a map, to see which policyholders we already cover, is extremely useful in times of large-scale flooding, such as we had recently in the UK. We are then able to contact policyholders before, during and after flood events to provide them with valuable information and help to mitigate any losses.

How can geographic information help?

There are a multitude of datasets that are available to use in conjunction with Ordnance Survey maps and mapping software to provide a visual representation of data. Within the insurance environment these can be used to fine-tune our offering to customers which is in line with the risk presented. The use of these models can often allow us to penetrate geographical areas that other insurers (using less sophisticated tools) may deem to be too hazardous. Over time, the whole industry will move away from fairly crude postcode-level rating to more granular address-based rating.

Tell us something not many people know about you? A fun fact or claim to fame, for example.

Having always been very interested in numbers, my first job was actually a bingo-caller!

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