Florida’s Citizens Joins NICB Disaster Response Services Consortium

June 4, 2019

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida’s insurer of last resort, has joined the Geospatial Intelligence Center (GIC), an insurance industry consortium spearheaded by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB).

Through the consortium, Citizens has access to advanced imagery to offer enhanced disaster response services designed to expedite claims and improve fraud detection following a hurricane or other disaster.

The GIC combines photogrammetric and remote sensing services from Vexcel Imaging, and tools and analytics from Esri, a geographic information systems provider, to help insurers when writing a policy and when dealing with claims following a disaster.

In the hours and days after a disaster, the GIC fleet of aircraft flies over impacted areas to capture and assess damage to provide members with imagery and data on impacted properties. The NICB, working with law enforcement and disaster scene commanders, has provided the GIC with access to disaster areas as soon as it is safe to fly. GIC can provide imagery and data to members within 24-36 hours of the aircraft touching down.

In 2017, Citizens piloted the GIC program post-Hurricane Irma and reported it was able to speed up the claims process by several weeks. With the post-disaster survey-grade aerial imagery, Citizens was able to better identify high-damage areas, which helped with the placement of RVs and tents at Citizens Response Centers (CRC).

The GIC provides members with tools to compare before and after high-resolution aerial imagery following catastrophic events and is also made available free of charge to first responders and emergency personnel. The information also provides evidence to help the NICB fight fraudulent claims.

The GIC maps the top metropolitan areas with high-resolution aerial imagery each year and the entire continental United States every other year. This includes 45-degree oblique images in urban areas that allow for a rotatable image of any property.

Citizens is the latest member to join the Geospatial Intelligence Center, after USAA and Allstate respectively joined the GIC in 2019.

NICB is a nationwide not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, learning and development, government affairs and public awareness. It is supported by more than 1,100 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $496 billion in insurance premiums in 2018, or more than 81 percent of the nation’s property/casualty insurance. That includes more than 92 percent ($254 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance.

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