Better prepared for climate risks
As weather patterns continue to shift and elevate the extremity of natural disasters such as wildfires, we continue to invest in research and pilots to understand how technology, data analytics, and artificial intelligence can help us solve business problems, provide better engagement for customers, and grow our business. In 2019, we tested two new innovative technologies to help us better assess risks and serve our customers tangibly in times of need and natural disasters.
More comprehensive wildfire risk assessments with Zesty.ai:
We teamed up with Zesty.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) and aerial imagery startup, to improve assessments in wildfire risk. Zesty.ai’s Z-FIRE incorporates multidimensional digital imagery and third-party resources into its processes to accurately assess risk exposure at the property level as opposed to the broader ZIP-code level. This allows us to have an individual property view of the risk that can be transparently shared with agents and regulators, as well as the customer. Along with AI, high-resolution satellites, and third-party data, Z-FIRE uses history and fire science to increase property risk-assessment accuracy. In addition to utilizing Zesty.ai’s technology to refine underwriting, the granular risk identification will also improve our ability to transparently engage customers in a way that protects them for the long term. We will begin integrating Z-FIRE into our U.S. Property & Casualty underwriting and business operations in 2020.
Improved disaster readiness with Northern Illinois University:
In addition to large annual economic losses, particularly bad weather years can lead to devastating destruction. Long-range forecasts for these events could lead to better mitigation and preparedness strategies for emergency managers. With this in mind, and to inform how we can proactively alert customers about impending weather events and deploy aid in advance, we began a collaboration with Northern Illinois University (NIU) in 2019 to better understand advanced weather forecasting methodologies, specifically around convective storms. NIU’s recent research and models anticipate when and where severe weather will strike in the future, enabling accurate forecasts for tornadoes and hailstorms two or even three weeks in advance. With this exclusive arrangement and technology, MetLife can anticipate periods of large potential losses and notify their customers about impending severe weather to help keep them safe.