EOcafe: Index Insurance – A new Business Opportunity?

Thursday 27th of May 2021, 16:00-17:00 CEST

The digital economy is not so much shaking up many sectors as fundamentally changing them! The result is the emergence of new, innovative business models and new opportunities for those able to embrace the change. The insurance sector is no different and a new approach is being developed by Skyline Partners who will be our guest in the EOcafe.

Index insurance changes the way in which the risk is managed. Traditional insurance works through loss adjusters who visit the site of the damage after the event to inspect and calculate the extent of the loss. This is an expensive process especially where damage has occurred in remote areas. When there are travel restrictions for instance in times of a pandemic, travel may simply not be possible.

Earth Observation (EO) gives the possibility for remote inspection at least partially of any damage – depending on its nature. Index Insurance goes one step further. Instead of relying on loss adjusters to assess the value of the damage, a trigger is identified, and it is this trigger which is monitored. For example, a property may be insured against a natural hazard such as a hurricane. A crop may be insured against freezing nights. In each case, payment will be made if a hurricane occurs or the night temperatures drop below zero degrees.

If the event is triggered, payment is made without question and is quick.  It reduces the cost of the insurance through the use of geospatial technology and data. The use of index insurance is becoming increasingly popular and represents an opportunity for the geospatial services industry.

Skyline Partners have been pioneering this new approach through the use of EO data. Whether the peril is a natural catastrophe, a pandemic or other measurable risk, geospatial intelligence is helping to insure this risk of damage to crops, infrastructure or people. This is opening up new opportunities for EO service companies and data providers which we shall explore in the EOcafe.

Skyline Partners is a private-equity funded UK insuretech company, focusing solely on index-based parametric insurance. Skyline has developed its own index insurance technology platform and aggregates high value data from multiple sources. Their initial focus is on Renewable Energy and Agriculture sectors at risk from Natural Catastrophes, but with an ambition to develop index solutions for other perils and market segments. Skyline Partners is looking to work with EO service companies, becoming a new channel to market in which they can differentiate themselves.

In this EOcafe our host, Geoff SAWYER (EARSC’s Strategic Advisor and former Secretary General) together with our guest, Laurent SABATIÉ, Co-Founder, Executive Director of Skyline Partners will discuss the following:

  • How does index insurance differ from classical underwriting and loss adjustment?
  • How can geospatial data be used in relation to index insurance?
  • What types of event, peril and markets are covered with index insurance?
  • What types of EO data can be used?
  • How can the EO services companies become involved in this business?
  • What should they do next to explore these opportunities?

Registration: This webinar is open to ALL but priority will be given to EARSC members. Registration is free but compulsory. Please click on the following link to register.

EOcafe Registration

Please note this is a virtual event!

EOcafe is part of a series of EARSC meetings that offer timely, relevant, and practical information on a broad variety of topics related to the EO sector. Join us every two weeks to discuss and network while enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.


  • The use of a video camera is not mandatory but encouraged to facilitate better interaction among the attendees and the guest speaker(s).
  • The EOcafe will stay open after 17:00 in case our guests want to continue the discussion.
  • By registering for this event, you accept the terms and conditions (https://earsc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/EARSC_Events_GDPR.pdf).

If you have any questions, and/or you want to know more about the EOcafe, and/or you want to share an idea about a future EOcafe, please contact Natassa (Natassa.antoniou@earsc.org).

Author: EARSC

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