RiskMeter.com, a provider of real-time natural hazard risk reports, has added a second data source to its Building Characteristic report. This additional source will enable users to improve their underwriting and catastrophe modeling results by appending more building characteristic information to their policies. Pre-filling this information can save agents valuable time, while ensuring that carriers receive accurate policy information.

RiskMeter says building characteristic report covers the entire United States, but information is collected by individual counties. This information is sourced from county assessors and includes key building characteristic data, like year built, number of stories, square footage and roof covering. Both commercial and residential properties are included. This information can be returned by typing in an individual address or by uploading a book of business. Coverage depends on what’s released by each county or town.

The importance of building characteristic information, says RiskMeter, can be felt throughout the insurance industry from reinsurers, down to brokers. When building characteristic data isn’t provided, it’s common for year built, number of stories and roof shape, fields to be labeled as “unknown” during the modeling process. This missing information leads catastrophe models to assume a worst case scenario. 

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