Ann Arbor startup EigenRisk's risk analytics technology is being put to the test in tracking and assessing natural disasters, including hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The company's EigenPrism software is a real-time event monitoring and notification service for natural disasters from earthquakes to hurricanes to landslides. Users in the risk management community, such as insurance companies and corporate risk managers, can use the system to receive notifications of loss estimates while catastrophes are in progress.
One of the first tests of the new technology happened during Hurricane Harvey, when global insurance company Lockton used the platform to quickly estimate its insured loss, both personal and commercial, within hours. Previously, these types of loss estimates could take weeks to compile.
The software is being used to track losses in Hurricane Irma and damages from the recent earthquake in Mexico as well.
"The footprint of the earthquake in Mexico was available within one hour," says EigenRisk co-founder and president Deepak Badoni.
EigenRisk is rooted in Badoni's 20-plus years in insurance. He has worked with insurance companies and large brokerages, and more recently with companies that specialize in computer models for risk management.
"We started the company about three years ago when a bunch of us who worked together saw that there's a gap in the industry," Badoni says.
Insurance companies need decisions fast, and sophisticated models for pricing already existed, but there was little in the way of technology for real-time monitoring. Badoni says technology has advanced enough that analytics can be gathered within minutes instead of weeks.
"Basically, we're a tech company bringing together the best-of-breed models from multiple players, together with data from clients such as risk managers and insurance brokerages, to create actionable insights," he says.
EigenPrism gathers information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other sources to track wind speeds during hurricanes, and earthquake data from the United States Geologic Service and other partners to quickly create estimates of damage, loss maps, and alerts.
Badoni says it's an exciting time for the company right now, as it's getting national attention.
The concept for the platform has been put to the test, and several companies have been early adopters of the technology. Now, Badoni says, it's time to grow.
The company's next steps involve looking for funding and ironing out a few details with the technology and with customer and client support for the software, Badoni says.
"We will be growing next year, and we want to add more client-facing resources, because so far we've been far more focused on building out the product," he says.
Badoni says he expects to scale the company, which now has 17 employees, in a "much bigger way" in the next two to three years.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos courtesy of EigenRisk.