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Bitesize InsurTech: Cape Analytics

Cape Analytics

Cape Analytics analyses geospatial imagery with image recognition and machine learning techniques to identify detailed physical property features (e.g., roof type, roof condition).

The company has focused its proposition on insurance because insurers generally use unreliable methods to collect property data: customer input (subject to fraud and annoying for the customer), surveyors (expensive and slow), or public records (often incomplete / out of date).

Insurers query the Cape Analytics database via an API and pull structured information about properties.  A use case that is currently live for residential property is access to validated property features at time of quote, leading to better quote speed and accuracy.

Live reinsurance use cases include:

  • Portfolio selection and analysis: Cape Analytics data is being ingested by a reinsurer’s existing CAT models to assess and monitor a cedent’s portfolio (e.g., number of gable roofs).
  • Data quality insight: A reinsurer is testing the quality of underlying property data being used by a cedent.

The recent US storms have brought some additional impetus: Tiger Risk recently announced a partnership to expedite the assessment of claims.  Cape Analytics provides analysis of before-and-after imaging to assess the extent of damage.  (Cape Analytics does not do the actual imaging but receives the images from third party vendors.)

Nephila (free article on Artemis.bm) is a disclosed client and XL Innovate, XL Catlin’s venture arm (Bitesize) is an investor.  The company raised $14m in October 2016.

The Oxbow Partners view

In our blog post about InsureTech Connect in Las Vegas, we noted that startups appear to be clustering around certain themes – of which one is drones and satellite imagery.  We view this as a validation of (re)insurer demand, and therefore a good place for startups to be.

But clustering also means competition.  Two points here: first, a client list that includes Nephila and Tiger Risk goes some way to validate the company’s credentials.  Second, we believe that drone / imaging hardware will soon become commoditised.  The analytics piece is much more value adding, and therefore a good place for the company to be.

Overall, this is another business we like.

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Chris Sandilands

Partner at Oxbow Partners
Chris Sandilands is a Partner at Oxbow Partners. Chris advises (re)insurers and brokers on a range of strategy topics and M&A. Chris started his career as a D&O underwriter at Munich Re, before joining Oliver Wyman, the consulting firm. He left to set up an online startup, before moving back into consulting, initially as an independent and then joining Oxbow Partners. You can reach him at csandilands@oxbowpartners.co.uk.

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