Day 4

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Paper title Risk and damage assessment platform for the agricultural sector based on EO data
Authors
  1. Dimitrios Sykas GEOUNIVERSITY Speaker
  2. Vasileios Fotias Cloudeo A.G.
  3. Anastasia Sarelli GEOUNIVERSITY
Form of presentation Poster
Topics
  • D1. Managing Risks
    • D1.03 Satellite EO for Disaster Risk Transfer & Insurance
Abstract text Agricultural insurance focuses on modeling the risk of crop yield damages due to natural or other disasters such as: hail, heavy raining, flooding, extreme temperature, wind storms, droughts, etc. The Geo Insurance (GI - https://app.geo-insurance.com/#!/login) focuses on modeling with deep learning the risk of crop yield loss using Earth Observation & meteorological data bundled with blockchain technology to ensure the transparency of the whole process from data to client information and reduction of administrative costs & process through automated verification.

Crop insurance is the farmer’s most important risk management tool. With uncertainty in crop production constantly looming, insurance is something secure; a safety net for the unpredictable. Profit margins for agri insurance companies are becoming narrower over time due to insurers needing to react faster and more precisely to the volatility and advancements in agriculture. Agri-tech is continually evolving and it’s essential that crop insurers evolve with it to remain reliable and progressive. Providing clients with advanced data and views of their fields is no longer a luxury, but an expectation that insurers use technology to help manage risk. Satellite imagery combined with meteorological datasets and models can help by increasing operational efficiencies, managing exposure to risk and providing substantiated validation. Currently climate change is happening, food security is becoming a global threat, thus the need was identified to create a platform that delivers information that helps create a sustainable, transparent, efficient and scalable agri-insurance market.

Insurers are always looking for ways to increase efficiencies and lower operating costs, especially since farmers are constantly relying on the output. Satellite technology provides both historical and current perspectives of any local conditions versus needing to send team members out to scout every area. Imagine rather than having a new field to scout and having no reliable background, you have access to 30 years of reputable, historical field data. With this information, insurers can prioritize the necessary field visits and simplify the claims management process. The data also enables you to quickly and confidently validate loss adjustment claims with reliable third-party data.

In its recent history, the EU Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) has undergone several reforms towards greater market orientation, shifting from production support to mainly decoupled payments and less public intervention. It must be noted that crop insurance is obligatory for farmers receiving EU subsidies. This shifting had as a result public-private partnerships to be created all over Europe in the Agriculture Insurance Industry. This model is similar to the US and the rest of the world, hence there is a great pool of targeted customers that include well-established Insurance Providers of both Public and Private domain, Underwriting Agents and Brokers.

Satellite imagery provides advanced levels of insight so insurance companies are able to plan and manage the financial risk. Satellite technology, including remote sensing images and meteorological data, allows to receive near real-time updates of anything that’s occurring in the clients’ fields, providing the ability to monitor any severe weather conditions and properly manage cash flow to pay eventual indemnities, versus waiting to react to situations. Satellite imagery is also able to cover larger areas in less time to provide a complete overview of one’s fields. There are many factors affecting yield and plant growth and many ways to measure them, however the best information comes from the plants themselves — think of them as tens of thousands of sensors per hectare. Satellite imagery is used to give the user an accurate and unbiased view of a crop’s status and potential, and therefore your business potential, by analyzing information directly from the plants. Satellite imagery can provide a greater view of agri business and what’s occurring in the client’s fields.

GEO University developed a platform that delivers information that helps create a sustainable, transparent, efficient and scalable agro-insurance market: GI. Taking into consideration the current situation in the agro-insurance domain, GI focuses on delivering insights and data that assist insurance companies and underwriters in a more efficient evaluation of claims, as well as risk mitigation. This will be achieved by providing meteorological information, alerts and historical insights to insurance companies and underwriters for a more efficient evaluation of claims and risk mitigation.

Key part in the crop insurance market is the proper underwriting procedures an insurance company undertakes in order to accurately estimate the risks involved in the insurance contracts. The crop insurance contracts involve many parameters and insure a wide range of objects (agricultural machinery, farm infrastructure), people (health and accidents) and crops (yield production loss). The main problem GI is addressing focuses on the crop aspect of the insurance contracts. Using satellite data (remote sensing and meteorological) and models, bundled with artificial intelligence, GI produces accurate and localized underwriting information for specific natural disasters that insurance companies insure: Overheat, Frost, Extreme precipitation, Windstorm, Snow coverage, Floods, and Droughts. Apart from these risks, GI also provides analytical historical climate variables and indices utilizing Copernicus datasets, which are downscaled to local level in order to provide information at parcel level.

The second part of the problem GI addresses is part of the damage verification process. After a disaster happens, claims from the farmers start flushing the insurance companies. The insurance company faces a big challenge at that time, they need to prioritize the claims for their validity and perform damage assessment for the contracts. Thus the insurance company must within a short period of time examine hundreds or thousands contracts (depending on their client base and spatial distribution). GI helps insurance companies initially to prioritize the claims, i.e. to monitor with satellite technologies which specific parcels are affected by the disaster. This solves a huge administrative burden of the company. For specific cases like floods, GI can also perform an estimate of damage, information that can optimize the way claims are handled by the insurance company

The GI platform is an online platform for insurance companies and farmers. Insurance companies a.) estimate the risk of insuring new customers with their crops, b.) understand the risk and generate scenarios for your existing clients, c.) prioritise the claims and assess damages remotely, while minimizing field inspections. Farmers a.) get the risk of their cultivated crops at farm level, b.) get alerts for potential natural disasters to plan their actions, c.) generate damage reports with objective measures. The generated value of the GI is to disrupt the way insurance companies understand and value their risks. Create a fair, transparent and affordable system to calculate crop insurance fees.