Global data analytics provider Verisk is leveraging artificial intelligence and image analytics to generate underwriting insights for small business insurers from more than 200 million reviews on Yelp, the company announced this morning.

Unstructured data and images from Yelp reviews may show how a business has evolved during the COVID-19 pandemic, and therefore can inform discussions about coverage with potential customers about new insurance needs, said Verisk, also noting that the Yelp-driven insights provide a view to insurers about how employees are mitigating risks.

Yelp’s platform, which enables consumers to discover, connect, and transact with millions of local businesses of all sizes, provides a powerful source of data for insurers that’s constantly being updated, the Verisk announcement said.

Tracey Waller, director of small commercial underwriting at Verisk, said that “by working directly with Yelp, Verisk is augmenting its high-quality and consistent analytics on millions of small businesses with information that is up-to-date, organized and easy to digest.”

David McKie, Yelp’s vice president, business development and data licensing, noted the benefits for small businesses, which can secure insurance coverage they need more easily with Verisk’s AI leveraging Yelp’s trusted data on local business.

The Yelp insights can help underwriters make coverage decisions with more speed and precision, Verisk said, noting that Yelp’s data will be integrated into LightSpeed Small Commercial, a Verisk solution that leverages data and analytics to automate underwriting and improve customer and agent experiences.

The ultimate goal of such automation is underwriting with zero questions on small commercial insurance applications.

Separately, late last week, Verisk announced a collaboration with Insurance Regulatory Consultants (IRC), a full-service state filing and regulatory compliance company. The idea is to allow incumbent and startup insurers and MGAs to launch new products and improve their actuarial analysis by leveraging Verisk’s data and expertise, insurance policy forms, and advisory loss costs, with IRC then assisting insurers in the development of these new products and guiding them through the regulatory approval process.

Insurance Regulatory Consultants provides state filing, product development and regulatory compliance consulting for insurance companies across the country. Additionally, IRC leverages an app known as FilingRamp, a web and mobile app that provides insurance companies real-time status of filing projects in a clean, user-friendly interface.

Source: Verisk