Neighbourhood crime profiles no risky business for insurers

March 21, 2014 -- Exclusive Australian neighbourhood profiles highlighting crime hotspots could transform the way insurers calculate premiums, according to a leading data expert.

New geo-demographic data from leading digital mapping specialist MapData Services (MDS) contains up-to-date community and crime insights, to create a clear picture of an area’s dark side.

MDS General Manager Cassandra Barker said the unique crime data collections would equip insurers with unprecedented access to information about theft, break-ins and safety ratings in communities across the country.

“The geo-demographic datasets provide both insurers and policy holders with a compelling insight into where criminals are most likely to operate,” Ms Barker said.

“The data can be used to gauge the risk of vehicles being stolen or households getting burgled – and even indicate how safe residents may feel in a particular area.

“Information regarding daytime population movements can also be accessed, which reveals not only the areas where people spend time during office hours, but also those areas which are desolate during the day – which is of significant value when considering the likelihood of crime.

“Insurers can even use the data to pinpoint where they have too much exposure by comparing the areas rife with criminal activity with the location of their policy holders.”

The geo-demographic dataset includes risk scores of crimes likely to occur in a neighbourhood – rated on a scale of one to 20 – as well as perceptions of social disorder.

Ms Barker said insurers can leverage this detailed insight to deliver better priced policies.

“Australian insurers have never before had access to such a comprehensive source of information on a location’s susceptibility to crime,” Ms Barker said. 

“These datasets can be used to create interactive, accurate crime maps – which means insurers can quickly and easily see the exact level of risk a policy holder may face.

“As such, policy holders in areas of low risk may see a reduction in premiums, and those in higher risk areas can be more informed of the threats facing their property and secure better cover.”

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