ZestyAI, a climate and property risk analytics solutions provider, announced it has integrated the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety’s ‘FORTIFIED’ construction standard into its AI-powered Z-PROPERTY predictive property and climate risk platform.
In a September 29 news release announcing the integration, ZestyAI said its Z-PROPERTY uses computer vision and machine learning to extract insights from aerial and satellite imagery, among other data sources, for more than 150 million residential and commercial properties.
The FORTIFIED Home standard, which has received plenty of ink in Roofing Contractor, goes beyond standard building codes to deliver “superior performance” during severe weather, such as high winds, hailstorms, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes.
ZestyAI said an independent study of FORTIFIED homes following four separate hurricanes showed homeowners were 35 percent less likely to file an insurance claim and suffered 22 percent less damage than owners of traditionally built homes.
Based on more than 20 years of scientific research and real-world testing by the IBHS, FORTIFIED has quickly become a recognized resilient building method, and interest in FORTIFIED homes has increased as severe weather continues to ravage communities across the U.S. As a result, the number of designated homes has more than doubled in the last three years.
"FORTIFIED has already helped more than 50,000 families in 26 states better protect their homes from severe weather," said IBHS CEO Roy Wright. "It takes only one storm to cause devastating loss and significantly change the trajectory of people's lives. Strengthening homes and communities with the FORTIFIED program can help reduce the devastating losses caused by Mother Nature."
Customers of Z-PROPERTY can now view FORTIFIED designation information, including the designation level of FORTIFIED Roof, FORTIFIED Home–Silver, or FORTIFIED Home–Gold. In addition to being important information for underwriters, it helps insurers comply with the mandatory discounts some states require for mitigation measures that are part of the FORTIFIED Home program.
ZestyAI said it will leverage FORTIFIED data for further enhancing Z-HAIL and Z-WIND, its predictive models for underwriting and rating Severe Convective Storm risk.
"Severe weather and catastrophic events are on the rise, and insurance carriers must be able to accurately assess risk and identify homes built to the highest standards of resiliency," said Attila Toth, founder and CEO of ZestyAI. "Our collaboration with IBHS and the integration of FORTIFIED into Z-PROPERTY gives insurers the necessary tools to reduce losses and continue providing access to high-quality insurance coverage."
ZestyAI said the addition of FORTIFIED to Z-PROPERTY is the latest of many collaborations between the company and IBHS. Other collaborations include Wildfire Fuel Management and Risk Mitigation, which looks at the impact of mitigation efforts on wildfire losses, and Small Hail, Big Problems, New Approach, which researched the effect of small hail on roof damage and hail claims.
FORTIFIED program data will be made available exclusively to IBHS Member companies using the Z-PROPERTY platform.
For more information, visit zesty.ai.