Blog

August 04, 2020 | IN Blog

HazardHub Releases New Enhanced Hurricane Database and New “Weather Rings” Data

We’re excited to announce that we’ve released not one but TWO cool new improvements to our risk databases.

The first is our new Enhanced Hurricane Model, which provides a MUCH richer dataset than our existing hurricane model. For customers with AI or data-driven underwriting processes, you can use our score or create your own. It’s an incredible leap forward in creating a property-level view of hurricane risk.

Here’s how it looks (in the API) for Hampton, VA –

The second improvement we’ve made to our dataset we like to call “Weather Rings.” For our Enhanced Hail, Tornado, and Wind databases we’ve added 1-5 mile rings around the point you enter into the API. Here’s how it looks for this same Hampton Roads location.

 

We’ve also made several updates to our existing databases, including –

 

  • Fire Stations
  • Wind, Hail, Tornado, and Lightning events
  • Wildfire Perimeters
  • Wildfire Satellite Data
  • Drought Data
  • Updated known Sinkhole points (33 states)

All of these data elements are live in the API. We’ve also updated our data dictionary to reflect the new data elements. It’s available in the API portal under “API Docs.” Just look for “Download Data Dictionary” in the upper right-hand corner. If you’re not an API customer and would like to learn more about HazardHub’s incredible data, contact us today!

 

 

May 06, 2020 | IN Blog

HazardHub develops the first national LUST database (Leaking Underground Storage Tanks)

SAN DIEGO CA – HazardHub, the USA’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data and a 2019 Insuretech 100 company – announced that they have developed the first ever national database of Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUSTs). Insurers and property specialists can easily see both the closest LUST and the number of leaking tanks within a quarter-mile of nearly any location in the United States.

 

Rachel Revolinski, Senior GIS Specialist for HazardHub says, “We are very excited to release the latest update to our Underground Storage Tank (UST) database that now includes whether the tank was ever flagged as leaking. We initially started with each locale’s tank data, then spent a massive amount of time cleaning, compiling, and standardizing the tank data. The result is the only national, comprehensive database of LUST (Leaking Underground Storage Tanks).”

 

HazardHub’s Underground Storage Tank database is national, while 42 states will have the “leaking” designation.

 

Oil spills from leaking underground storage tanks at homes and gas stations are the largest single threat to groundwater quality in the United States today. The EPA estimates that the cleanup of petroleum spilled underground could cost upwards of $40 billion. LUSTs are a ticking time-bomb of liability for insurance carriers, as well as an expensive and unexpected clean-up for property owners – especially when LUSTs are not disclosed as part of the property transactions. Together with our Brownfield, Superfund, and Toxic Release Facility databases, HazardHub now has one of the most complete environmental risk datasets ever created.

 

Bob Frady, CEO of HazardHub adds, “At HazardHub, we continue to develop new, meaningful data for the insurance, real estate, and consumer markets. We believe that people should never be surprised by the risk either at or around their property. Our job is to not only create great data but to provide it quickly, efficiently, and cost-effectively to the marketplace. With our new LUST dataset, we have raised the bar for awareness for what can be an unexpected and expensive leaking tank remediation cost.”

 

The LUST database is available today via HazardHub’s lightning-fast API and is no additional charge for all existing API clients.

April 16, 2020 | IN Blog

New Data Release – April 2020!

The COVID-19 epidemic has given us even more time on building new and (we hope!) interesting data for our customers.

 

Today, we’ve added a number of new datasets, as well as updated some existing data. It’s the first wave of several – we’ve got a lot coming down the API pipe over the next several weeks.

 

Snow Load – A vexing issue among our clients with cold weather exposure is sudden roof collapse when snow occurs. Our Snow Load determines the risk of a property suffering structural roof failure due to snow load. Snow load operates on a 1-10 scale and is also accompanied by HazardHub A-F grades. If you’re concerned about catastrophic snow load, this is the variable for you. Here’s how it looks in the API return –

hh_snow_load: {

  • score: “D”,
  • text: “High”,
  • desc: “Possible roof failure if winter snowfall significantly above normal”,
  • scale: 10

School District – We launched a national database of School Districts, including those areas where the grade schools are in one district and the high school is in a separate district (aka – “split districts”)

For our property characteristic data, we’ve added the following data elements –

(from the assessor files)

Condo_Project_Bldg_Name: Name of the property condominium project (if available)

Building Class: Some assessors will include the class of property, with the following guidelines. For now we will publish the text for each class and will look to add the grade. Note – it’s got limited coverage.

(from our property transaction data)

in_association_yn: Yes or no, is the property in a homeowners association

in_association_features: what are some of the features of the association

  • in_association_features: “Spa, Pool, Barbeque, Club House”,
  • in_association_yn: “YES”,

Fire Hydrant Locations – We are now just shy of 10.7 million fire hydrant locations! We envision getting to 11 million by the summer.

Fire Station Data – We’re in the process of going over this data with an even fine-toothed comb than usual, giving you the most accurate fire station data available.

This is the first part of our data updates this month. If you’re an API customer, these elements are now live in your feed!

March 16, 2020 | IN Blog

5 Hurdles to Insurtech Success

We like to joke that we started an insuretech because we wanted to make money as slowly as possible. It’s a funny, yet exceedingly painful, joke.

We were asked recently to discuss issues that Insurtech companies face in becoming successful.  We came up with 5 things that stand between insurtechs and success.  Here they are but please note – your mileage may differ.

1) The Maths – All Insuretechs have one super-challenging math equation to overcome –

Risk = Bad

Insuretech = Risk

Therefore, Insuretech = Bad

Insuretechs are busy trying to make themselves more inventive. Which only makes them riskier. As this equation shows us, that’s a bad thing. Much more attention needs to be paid to how Insuretechs can de-risk themselves and make it easier for insurance professionals to rely on them.

 

2) Insurtechs are talking revolution to an industry that makes evolution look fast.  Most insurtechs believe that they are going to revolutionize the insurance industry.  Unfortunately for the revolutionizing insurtech, insurance has been around for 300 years without them and can probably be around for another 300 years without them.  Insurance is an incremental improvement industry.  It’s evolution over revolution.

 

3) Insurtechs don’t understand who they’re selling to.  If you’ve never been to an insurtech pitch-fest, it’s filled with t-shirt and torn jeans entrepreneurs pitching to suit and tie wearing insurance executives. We’re not saying that the insurtechs should be wearing suits, but a nice pair of pants and a coat wouldn’t hurt you.  And we’re not even broaching the subject of industry knowledge here.

 

4) Insurance companies are slow.  When an insurance company talks about doing something this year, the earth will revolve three times around the sun before that happens.  They’re called insurance-years.  They’re like dog-years but in reverse.  Insurtechs have to plan for their first real sale being three years away, not three months. Blaming carriers for their slow sales cycles means you haven’t prepared properly.

 

5) Even the best mousetrap will not cause insurers to beat a path to your door.  Insurance companies and the law of large numbers work together very well to make money.  It’s very hard to break through the status quo, even with the latest and greatest whatever it is.  Insurance employees aren’t normally rewarded for taking chances on something unproven.  This lack of urgency to do something different can kill your insurtech.

 

Success IS possible in Insuretechs! Between new data, new processes and interesting technologies, Insuretechs ARE winning. By understanding some of the hurdles you’ll face before achieving success, you might be able to shave some time off one of the most daunting sales challenges ever invented – selling to the insurance industry. Good luck and we’ll see you in the marketplace!

August 26, 2019 | IN Blog

HazardHub Adds to its Library of Free Research Options with “Do I Need Flood Insurance” and “Property Elevation” Tools

HazardHub, the nation’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data, is excited to announce the release of the first of its kind “Do I Need Flood Insurance” tool, available immediately at HazardHub.com, under the Tools tab.

Dr. Brady Foust, Ph.D. – Chief Science Officer of HazardHub – says “Flooding is the number one disaster in the United States. We’ve spent much of the past three years creating as complete a data set as possible for flood risk. Looking at flood risk is a problem bigger than just FEMA maps. While we usually provide this data to the insurance industry, we also saw a huge need for consumers to have an easy-to-understand answer to the vexing issue of flood insurance. Our new “Do I Need Flood Insurance” tool provides answers based upon the user’s property address.”

The HazardHub flood data sets are comprised of three factors. The first is a comprehensive collection of FEMA digital flood zone data, which we regularly update and process into a national coverage file. The second is our custom Storm Surge inundation zones for the East coast of the US. The third is HazardHub’s proprietary Flood model, built on HazardHub’s national elevation database and national water polygon and line dataset. The combination of these three elements provides the very first tool that answers the flood insurance question.

As part of building its flood model, HazardHub also developed a national elevation database that also includes property slope and aspect. Along with the Flood tool, HazardHub has also released a free “What’s My Elevation” tool that shows the ground elevation for any point in the United States.

John Siegman, HazardHub’s CCA states, “HazardHub, in part, was started due to a flood event. We’ve always been frustrated that consumers and businesses have had such difficulty in answering questions around flood insurance. We wanted to fix that. This is especially true since more than one-third of flood losses come from areas outside of 100-year flood zones.

Theoretically, any location can suffer from flooding. Some locations are just more susceptible to flooding than others. We’ve chosen to develop a tool that provides simplified access to the power and sophistication of our massive flood resources. We hope that people use this free tool to have more informed discussions about flood insurance with their insurance agents.

Siegman adds, “Since releasing our first three widgets in April of 2018 – Distance to Coast, Distance to a Fire Hydrant, and Distance to a Fire Station – we’ve given away more than 300,000 free lookups. The insurance industry and those that it serves are clearly in need of this information. We clearly believe in providing it.”

July 16, 2019 | IN Blog

HazardHub zooms past 100 billion data points for Property analysis

SAN DIEGO CA – HazardHub, the nation’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data, is excited to announce that it has recently passed 100 billion data points for property analysis in the United States.

Dr. Brady Foust, Ph.D. – Chief Science Officer of HazardHub – says “We’ve worked incredibly hard to develop an unparalleled amount of data for companies concerned with property risk characteristics. Over the last three years, we’ve spent an enormous amount of time increasing the depth and sophistication of our data. We’re pleased to announce that we can currently deliver over 100 billion data points across the United States. The amount and quality of data available via HazardHub are simply unmatched by any other property data company in the United States.”

The process of getting to 100 billion data points involved building dozens of national data sets that provide unparalleled insights to the risks – both simple and complex – that can impact both personal and commercial properties across the US. Some of the data points in the HazardHub family include Fire Stations, Fire Hydrants, Flood Risk, Hurricane Risk, Underground Storage Tank location, Property Characteristics, and dozens of other location-specific risks.

Bob Frady, CEO of HazardHub, adds “At HazardHub we ask clients one question – Why Are You Paying So Much To Know So Little? We are constantly working to develop the data needed to create the most robust data set ever available in the insurance, banking, utilities and risk space. HazardHub is always busy creating new data sets like our Frozen Pipe, Ice Dam, and Mold Susceptibility models, as well as adding hundreds of thousands of hydrants to the nation’s only national, accessible database of fire hydrants – HydrantHub. “

Frady adds “Our carrier clients are using HazardHub for razor-sharp prefill and underwriting sophistication. Our AI clients love the massive, structured data we bring to their engines. Our partner network is thrilled with the depth of our data to help round out their product offerings. All at a cost that is – hands down – the most affordable in the industry. We’re incredibly excited to cross the 100 billion data point threshold and providing our clients lightning-fast access to the deepest and sharpest collection of data ever assembled. It’s just one of the reasons we recently took home the “People’s Choice” award at the recent D’Betta Bowl insuretech event at the NAIC (National Association of Insurance Commissioners) national conference.

With HazardHub, we provide an incredible amount of data for a surprisingly affordable price.

HazardHub data is available today via the award-winning HazardHub API. See for yourself at api.hazardhub.com!

April 07, 2019 | IN Blog

HazardHub Introduces ReplacementHubTM Property Replacement Estimations

HazardHub, the nation’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data, is pleased to announce the introduction of Home Replacement Cost estimates from our award-winning API.

HazardHub combines its high-resolution property data with the intelligence provided by e2Value to create ReplacementHub, an estimate of the amount needed to replace the existing property structure. ReplacementHub recognizes the difference in both commercial and residential properties, applying the most appropriate answer for a given location.

Bob Frady, CEO of HazardHub, says “the recent string of wildfires in California has introduced a new and expensive hazard for property insurers – underinsurance. People are surprised to find that – from a catastrophe or not – they often don’t have enough insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding a home or business. In the end, the insurance company can end up with a compliance and customer nightmare, which has resulted in expensive litigation and bad press.”

“We’ve combined our property data with e2Value’s intelligence to deliver a fast and accurate replacement cost estimate. Better yet, we can both append this to an existing book of business and deliver it quickly where it’s needed most – at the point of underwriting via our lightning-fast API. We’re very excited to add this capability to our ever-expanding risk toolkit.”

Todd Rissel, CEO of e2Value adds, “It’s great to be included with such a robust data set and great organization. HazardHub shares many of our core values, making it easy for us to connect with HazardHub and to their clients. We share a belief in open source and consumers of data knowing what the data is, where it came from, and how that information can help them in their business. The market has been asking for this information and HazardHub delivered.”

For a limited time, HazardHub is offering a no obligation test of ReplacementHub.

Frady adds “We’ve always been huge believers in data transparency. We never ask you to take our word for it – we’ll always put our data up against any source you may currently be using. We encourage our customers to test ReplacementHub for themselves to see how HazardHub can help you make better, more informed decisions.“

 

March 11, 2019 | IN Blog

HazardHub Introduces Mold Susceptibility Database and Updated Fire Station and Wildfire Data

HazardHub, the nation’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data, is pleased to announce the launch of two brand new data sets and updates to four others. All new and updated data is immediately available via the HazardHub API.

 

New datasets include –

HazardHub Mold Susceptibility Index – Mold is an increasingly serious problem for insurers, as undetected water leaks and other environmental conditions can provide a great environment for mold. Mold forms from a combination of internal construction and external environmental conditions. HazardHub’s Mold Susceptibility Index provides a score of the likelihood that the external environmental conditions that encourage mold growth exist at a property.

Airport Noise –  We’ve taken noise contours and flight paths from hundreds of public and private airports to create our Airport Noise database. Airport noise can be a huge factor in a property owner’s enjoyment of their property. We provide the data to help consumers better understand any property they may consider purchasing, leasing or renting.

 

Updated datasets include –

Fire Station Locations – Since October of 2018, more than 200 fire stations have opened, closed (mostly permanently but sometimes temporarily) or moved – all moves that are captured in our updated Fire Station location database.

Wildfire Perimeters – We’ve added 1,381 wildfire perimeters from 26 states, including 91 from California, 235 from Idaho, 24 from Arkansas and 1 from Hawaii. Our perimeters are a small but potentially significant input to our Wildfire Model, as prior perimeters are highly correlated with the emergence of new wildfires.

Vegetation Burn Points – Satellite imagery of vegetation burn points is another critical input to our wildfire model. We now have over 2 million vegetation burn points that help us to really fine-tune the HazardHub Wildfire Model.

Fire Hydrant Locations – As previously announced, HydrantHub recently passed 10 million fire hydrant locations. All new hydrant locations are now available to HazardHub clients.

 

Joe Litchfield, Chief Data Officer of HazardHub says “At HazardHub, we’re always striving to provide our customers with the best possible data to help them guard against risk. We’re really excited about our new March release of data. Our team has been hard at work updating many of the data elements – like fire stations, hydrants, and wildfire data – critical to our clients, but we’ve also found time to create our new Mold Susceptibility database.”

 

March 03, 2019 | IN Blog

HazardHub’s HydrantHub Passes 10 Million Fire Hydrant Locations Nationwide

SAN DIEGO CA – HazardHub, the nation’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data, has announced that HydrantHub – the nation’s first and only addressable database of fire hydrant locations – has just added its 10 millionth fire hydrant location. The milestone was achieved while examining the more than 180 hydrants for Hamlin, NY, as part of HazardHub’s intense drive to add fire hydrant locations.

Distance to a fire hydrant is one of the most critical components to properly priced homeowners and property insurance. Yet – too often – hydrant data is simply missing from existing fire protection algorithms.  HydrantHub’s aim is to break that data blockage by collecting and standardizing hydrant data, then making that data available to consumers, insurers, inspectors, and municipalities across the country. Not only can HydrantHub tell you the closest hydrant,  it can also tell you the number within perimeter 1,000-foot radius of a location, giving insurers unique insight as to how well a community can provide critical water assets to a fire. The hydrant locations in HydrantHub cover over 80% of the US population with hydrants.

HydrantHub is available via HazardHub’s free “Where’s My Closest Hydrant” tool on www.hazardhub.com, as well as HazardHub’s powerful API.

HydrantHub – along with HazardHub’s comprehensive Fire Station Location database – provides incredible insight for accurate measurement of fire protection for any property in the US. HazardHub’s Fire Station database, which is updated weekly, provides the closest three stations, the station response area name, how the stations are staffed, as well as the number of total stations within 5 and 10 miles of any location – all critical factors in minimizing the spread and destructive power of a fire. All done automatically with no input necessary from the end user.

Mike Jolitz, CTO of HazardHub, says “We started building HydrantHub more than two years ago and it is simply amazing how far we have come. 10 million hydrants is an incredible accomplishment due to the non-stop diligence and obsession of everyone at HazardHub. We now have thousands of areas covered in our database – many for the first time – with a goal of capturing every fire hydrant location in the US. We are driven to create the nation’s largest, most complete, and most accessible fire hydrant database. Our fire station database is the most updated and most accurate fire station database ever assembled. If you’re looking for fire hydrant and fire station locations, nothing can match the locational power of HazardHub.”

To learn more about HydrantHub, or our fire station database, visit www.hazardhub.com or reach us directly at [email protected].

January 31, 2019 | IN Blog

HazardHub Releases New and Updated Data!

It seems like forever since we’ve released new data…even though it’s only been since November! So we decided to release some this month. (Don’t worry, we’ll have some more real soon!) If you’re an API customer, the data is live and available today!

 

SurgeMax Inundation Depths – Our current SurgeMax model gives you the risk of storm surge, tied to the strength of the storm. We’re adding the actual expected inundation depth from surges of various sizes. This way, you can have a better idea of how to protect a property from storm surge inundation. Our SurgeMax data now includes – Inundation depths for each storm category, CAT 1 through CAT 5 1 foot intervals 1 – 20 feet and > 20 feet, and Areas protected by levees. The best storm surge product just got even better.

 

Perennial water within 1000′ for fire protection class –  Our AAIS-based Fire Protection Grade looks for either the presence of a fire hydrant with 1000 feet or perennial water within 1000 feet of a property. We parsed that data element out into its own variable, to show how a property is “covered” for water.

 

California Fire Hazard Severity Zone – CalFire maps show the risk of wildfire associated with a location, as well as an indicator of whether the responsible fire entity is Cal Fire or the local fire department. It also shows whether the risks are high/medium/low. It’s one more California-specific tool you can use to evaluate risk in the great State of California.

 

Potential Maximum Precipitation based on 500 year return period – While two properties may have very similar distances and slopes towards rivers and other flood-causing bodies of water, they may have very different flood probabilities due to our newest variable, Potential Max Precipitation. This variable shows, in inches, the probable max precipitation that can fall on an area.

 

Updated JSON schema – For our more technical users, we’ve updated our JSON schema so that it always syncs to our underlying data. As the data updates, so will the schema. Automatically.

 

We’ve got more exciting news to share in the upcoming months! Stay tuned!