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Longtime risk expert Kristin Carrington remembers conducting field surveys to gather data about a property's exposures: First it was pen and paper, then revisions, then one or two revisits of a site to take a photo and assess something one may have missed, and then, when the data was collected, it was off to the typist. Days later, there would be a report.
Today Ms. Carrington, who founded Fort Myers Beach, Florida-based Carrington Risk Consulting L.L.C., a property risk consulting firm, can assert to current and future clients: There's an app for that.
SnapCAT is a mobile application for smartphones that enables field engineers or consultants to gather and document windstorm, earthquake and flood primary and secondary exposures. The application consists of a series of data entry points and drop-down menus that makes creating reports for risk managers, brokers and insurers as easy as a few swipes and presses. Property location is assessed via satellite. Photographs or video, taken with the handheld device, can be attached to the reports and generated and distributed. Revisions to reports are simple, as is data storage, Ms. Carrington said.
SnapCAT “ties it all together,” said Ms. Carrington, who provides a webinar on the app, showing how prompts can help formulate a detailed report much faster in a document or file that can be sent to another person with a mobile device or email address. “Right as you're walking out of the building, you can email or text a (report).”
Risk managers receive a color report, paper or electronic, that contains all the data for a property, addressing four areas of the risk management process: risk identification, risk assessment and analysis, risk control and risk financing.
All of this capability earned SnapCAT a 2016 Business Insurance Innovation Award.
Ms. Carrington's product and company, which she operates with the help of one employee, not only simplifies the process of data collection and analysis, it also saves companies money, she said. With its fill-in-the-blank questionnaire format, SnapCAT provides detailed reports on building modifications that can help mitigate exposures and lower premiums for property owners. For example, if a building in a hurricane-prone area has its rooftop heating and air conditioning components strapped down with certain materials, the property could see a dip in premiums.
If a client has good to excellent building construction, the effect on premiums can be substantial if this information is gathered, proven and utilized, according to Ms. Carrington. In Florida alone, a SnapCAT field survey of 40 large department stores led to $2 million in premium savings in one year, she said. Similarly, a small restaurant chain saved $1 million in premiums after a thorough SnapCAT assessment.
So far, Ms. Carrington's clients and partners include Macy's Inc., Aon P.L.C. and Marsh USA Inc.
Alastair Malcolm, founder and CEO of Faversham, England-based XS Reserve Ltd., is no stranger to innovation, having been at the forefront of the development of excess-of-loss credit insurance coverage some 30 years ago.