Offering innovations to promptly respond to victims of natural disasters, fintech Captain and climate adaptation technology company Cloud to Street recently announced new product launches.
Captain, a fintech platform that helps homeowners rebuild after natural disasters by paying general contractors upfront, announced its “Build Now, Pay Later for Deductibles” feature for homeowners’ insurance deductibles in late May.
Captain bridges the gap between policyholders, contractors, and insurance companies by advancing money to a policyholder’s contractor to pay for materials, labor, and fees associated with repairs. That means policyholders can begin the repair process without waiting for the processing and insurance claims payments, allowing them to rebuild in an average of 30 days compared to 180, Captain estimates.
This all happens with policyholders never paying more than their deductible.
But even paying the insurance deductible is a problem for some homeowners who don’t have the extra cash to cover it, Captain’s chief executive officer, Demetrius Gray, pointed out in an April interview with Carrier Management. “I call it the last mile of insurance … It really is this thing that we have to figure out,” he said, referring to the question of how to take away pressure off insureds who have deductibles averaging $1,000 or $2,500 on their homeowners policies, and hinting that Captain was working on a fix. (Related article:” How a Fintech Named Captain Helps Homeowners Rebuild After Natural Disasters“)
Captain’s “Build Now, Pay Later for Deductibles” expands its lending service beyond quick payments to contractors, offering extended payment terms to policyholders up to 36 months for 0 percent interest.
This latest offering represents another way Captain is streamlining recovery in the wake of natural disasters, the fintech announcement said, adding that it also benefits insurers by satisfying the deductible payment at the completion of the repair work. This assurance allows insurers to process claims faster while eliminating the need to allocate valuable resources to ensuring claims are paid.
A second-time founder, having previously founded a property damage prediction company known as WeatherCheck, Gray is motivated to help policyholders put their lives back together after a natural disaster. He spoke about his motivation and provided more details of Captain’s business model during during a video interview, which was posted online as part of this publication’s recent InsurTech Summit 2022 conference content.
Cloud to Street (C2S), a climate adaptation technology company that provides precise, near real-time intelligence on flooding and flood risk, announced a partnership with parametric insurance platform Raincoat and Munich Re Group yesterday to roll out a parametric flood insurance program.
The country-level flood parametric program with local payouts will provide coverage to more than 100,000 small farmers across Colombia.
“Worsening climate change underscores the need to prioritize climate adaptation and financial solutions to support those affected by natural disasters, said Peter Lacovara, parametric insurance expert and Head of Commercial at C2S in a media statement, adding that the tech company is poised to assist in building similar parametric flood insurance programs worldwide.
Parametric insurance policies insure policyholders against the occurrence of a specific event by paying a set amount based on the magnitude of the event instead of the physical damages incurred. In other words, physical inspection of damages by an adjuster is not required to trigger a claims payout.
In the case of the new parametric program in Colombia, insured farmers will receive loan relief based on the magnitude of floods that hinder their abilities to grow their crops and bring them to market. As a country-wide parametric flood program, farmers in even the most remote parts of Colombia will now receive immediate financial relief following a flood disaster, C2S said.
Cloud to Street combines flood data streams–including optical and radar satellites, historical flood maps, and on-the-ground intelligence—with machine learning to deliver vital and actionable intelligence about the extent and impact of ongoing flood events. The company provides insurers and disaster risk holders with previously inaccessible data to insure new markets, respond to emergencies, and plan for future flood risk.
Last year, C2S Co-Founder and CEO Bessie Schwarz spoke about how the technology would feed into insurance product development during a Carrier Management Roundtable event on geospatial information systems titled “Seeing Through the Clouds: Satellites in Insurance,” describing how the C2S’s cloud-down view could enable more widespread access to high-quality flood data and to disaster capital through insurance and reinsurance partners. (Related articles: Seeing Through Clouds: Why Now Is the Time for Geospatial Technology in Insurance; High and Rising: Cloud to Street’s Research on Flood Exposure)
For the Colombia program, Cloud to Street’s data enabled partners to set the specific parameters for flood risk that made the creation of fair, comprehensive parametric policies possible. Using the data from C2S, Raincoat was able to provide a product and platform that allows payouts to insured farmers within days of a disaster, without them having to file a claim, the media announcement said.
“Floods are a serious risk for most individuals and families, and being able to provide some protection from these events at scale has been a priority. C2S allows us to do this,” said Jonathan Gonzalez, CEO of Raincoat, in the statement. “In this rollout, no one is excluded. Every region and every farmer is being covered.”
In addition to disclosing that reinsurer Munich Re is backing the program, media representatives said that coverage will be distributed by a major Columbian bank, although the name of the bank was not disclosed.