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Aon partners with AI firm on wildfire modeling, underwriting

California wildfires seen from the International Space Station

Aon PLC on Wednesday said it has teamed with insurtech startup to apply artificial intelligence to wildfire modeling and underwriting.

Oakland, California-based Zesty uses technology with more than 130 billion data points on buildings and their surroundings to “enable granular risk analysis and informed pricing,” Aon said in a statement.

The data points are obtained from regularly updated satellite and aerial imagery and other sources. The wildfire model uses machine learning to combine these property details, including vegetation, building materials, topography, weather patterns among others, with actual loss data, the statement said.

California wildfires caused insured losses of $16 billion in 2017 and up to $18 billion in 2018, according to Aon’s Impact Forecasting team, the statement said, adding that, historically, “wildfire has been challenging to model.”

“Immediate access to new, useable and meaningful data insights is continuing to advance insurance underwriting,” George deMenocal, president and U.S. CEO of Aon’s reinsurance solutions business, said in the statement.





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