How can wildfire insurance providers leverage air quality data ?

Author

Pushya
Pushya
November 26, 2020
Insurance

How can wildfire insurance providers leverage air quality data ?

In the United States alone, an average of 5 million acres of land burns every year causing billions in damage. Every year, 2500 homes are destroyed as per the National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) annual 2019 report.

From America to Australia, wildfires around the world are getting more frequent and devastating. Rising temperatures, due to climate change and forest mismanagement are often cited as the causes for these wildfires.  


With worsening drought conditions across the globe, on hot summer days, a tiny spark can set off a raging inferno that flattens thousands of acres and destroys vegetation, wildlife, human life and property.


Wildfires deteriorate the ambient air quality to hazardous levels on the air quality index (AQI). Wildfire smoke is a complex combination of a variety of gases and particulate matter. During a long wildfire, the particulate matter (PM2.5) reaches 20 times higher than usual.


In the aftermath of fires three major areas are directly affected. These are:


  • Human health and life 
  • Home and land property
  • The environment


Importance of hyperlocal air quality data during wildfires


Wildfire smoke is harmful to human health and wellbeing. Inhaling high levels of PM2.5 is hazardous as it easily reaches the depths of our lungs causing severe long-lasting inflammation, aggravating asthmatic conditions, COPD and more. So, what is the best way to avoid smoke from the fire? Stay indoors in a well regulated HVAC environment. Of course, if the fire gets too close, the only logical thing to do is to get as far away from it as possible.  


To better understand the risk of going outdoors during a fire, people rely on the air quality index to plan their morning walk, organize a safer commute to work and playtime for their kids etc. Accurate reliable AQI is hard to come by as there are many platforms showing varying information.


Air quality sensors installed by governments are few and far between especially in the dry forest areas that are highly prone to wildfires. During a wildfire, accurate real-time air quality information can help save many lives.


This is exactly where Ambee’s air quality data comes into play.


Ambee’s air quality API provides hyperlocal data down to the street-level with global coverage for locations beyond the reach of on-ground sensors.


Timely air quality alerts and information can help people in fire-prone areas to stay informed, and protect themselves and their families.


Leveraging air quality data for wildfire insurance coverage


Wildfires are dynamic and unpredictable with constantly changing patterns and perimeters. With the growing number of fires across the world as seen in the below graph, the need for actionable measures towards fire detection, prevention and mitigation is significant. 

Source: National Interagency Fire Center


In the United States alone, an average of 5 million acres of land burns every year causing billions in damage. Every year, 2500 homes are destroyed as per National Interagency Coordination Center (NICC) annual 2019 report.


Early fire detection is crucial to help avoid the breakout of a conflagration. Ambee’s real-time air quality data can help with early detection through timely alerts and warnings to the relevant stakeholders.


Insurance companies provide a range of services to mitigate and protect individuals from wildfires including yearly inspections, at home consultation, wildfire mitigation etc.


In addition to this, integrating air quality data insights with wildfire insurance services will help with the following actions -


  1. Inform people living in fire-prone regions of the impending risk and get the suitable insurance coverage
  2. Alert the customer with high air quality alerts to check for nearby wildfire (early fire detection)
  3. Advise them on taking the required preventive measures
  4. Deliver better wildlife insurance coverage, especially for the those with homes in the middle of a dangerous fire


Want to know how your business can integrate real time insights for providing better wildlife insurance coverage? Contact our experts today.




Ambee Acumen