Long before the pandemic, many insurance providers sought ways to use technology to meet the demand for faster turnaround times for quotes and renewals. In response to the restricted travel and safety concerns brought on by COVID-19, many commercial property insurers accelerated their efforts, using virtual technology to engage with customers and conduct inspections.

Executive Summary

As insurers hold onto some of the digital solutions that were adopted because of the pandemic, it's critical to understand the balance between digital strategies and boots on the ground tactics for underwriting, writes Verisk's Elizabeth Casas Leano, as she explains how commercial property inspectors, aerial imagery and virtual technology—together—can improve underwriting.

These virtual surveys have provided insurers with important interior views of commercial buildings that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. But on their own, they’re simply not enough to transform the speed and accuracy of underwriting.

For a complete view of risk, insurers need to combine virtual surveys with other data, generated by aerial imagery and artificial intelligence (AI), and in many cases, analyzed by professional inspectors. It’s that mix of remote data collection and boots-on-the-ground experience that will best support the continued digitization of underwriting.

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