Press Release

QBE uses geospatial technology and AI to support the claims response to severe weather events

In a successful Australian pilot, QBE Ventures has harnessed technology from investments in geospatial technology and AI to support the claims experience for commercial customers impacted by Tropical Cyclone Jasper in December 2023.

During the pilot, QBE commercial customers impacted by potential flood water were triaged using the technology, minimising the need for hydrology reports and helping to avoid delays.

Assessing damage to insured properties after severe weather events has traditionally been a challenging process, as physical access to affected areas can be hindered by flooding, debris, and other obstacles, delaying response times.

To address these challenges, QBE has leveraged insurtech from its QBE Ventures portfolio to improve the efficiency and accuracy of its claims response.

“Our investments in geospatial data and AI platforms have the potential to transform the way we manage residential and commercial property risks and claims at QBE,” said James Orchard, Chief Executive Officer, QBE Ventures.

“Geospatial data shows us the precise location of our insured properties. When combined with satellite imagery, our teams can visually assess the impact of severe weather events in near real-time in one place.” 

The new purpose-built platform was put to the test during QBE’s response to Tropical Cyclone Jasper which caused widespread damage and flooding in far North Queensland in 2023.  

“Our claims team was able to monitor the impact of Cyclone Jasper on our insured properties in near real-time, enabling them to make quick and informed decisions about what resources, trades, and support teams were needed on the ground, and where they were needed most,” said Chad Vigar, Head of Property Claims, QBE Australia.

“In many cases, we eliminated the need for onsite inspections and specialist reports, which helped us get our commercial customers back on their feet.”

The successful pilot in Australia is one of many geospatial technology trials QBE has been running globally, with promising results supporting further expansion across its operations, including in underwriting and risk assessment. 

“Geospatial technology is a crucial part of our data enrichment strategy,” said Orchard. “In the coming months, our focus will be on transitioning geospatial technology from these large-scale pilots to operational use within our claims, supply chain, and catastrophe response teams.” 

In the longer-term, QBE Ventures is exploring deeper integration of AI models to power more actionable weather and natural disaster insights for QBE, as well as their partners and customers.

“By leaning into AI, we’ll be able to aggregate and analyse data more effectively and build better, faster response workflows into our risk management and claims platforms,” said Orchard.

As severe weather events become more frequent, continuing to embrace the latest developments in technology will be key to supporting customers in their times of need. With these advancements, QBE aims to improve the way it responds to major events and underwrites in preparation for them. 

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QBE Ventures is the venture development and investment arm of QBE Insurance Group. To learn more about our work, explore our website or connect with our team on LinkedIn.

For more information
Sarah Bond
External Communications Manager
QBE Insurance Group 

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