Cape Analytics, a data company that specializes in providing insurance companies with property roof information through geospatial imaging, just announced that it is expanding nationwide.
Launched in 2014, the Mountain View-based analytics startup uses tools like aerial imaging and computer vision to determine whether a house’s exterior — for example, its roof — is in decent shape. While the company started as a way to determine hurricane damage risk levels for Florida properties, it is now providing information about properties in every state.
“We maintain a living database so that in our current use case, when insurance companies get that request to process a home for insurance, they can hit our database,” Busy Cummings, Cape Analytics’ VP of Sales, told Inman.
The company works by receiving captured drone and satellite data from partners like Google Earth and DigitalGlobe and then mapping that information to feed to insurance companies. The information is processed through an application programming interface-based pipeline and an algorithm that judges risk using artificial intelligence.
The information Cape Analytics feeds insurance and reinsurance companies includes everything from roof condition to the presence of solar panels and pool enclosures to the likelihood that a house will get damaged in a hurricane. Now, the company will have access to over 70 million buildings across the US.
Cape Analytics also uses its data mapping to work with real estate agents and brokers in order to alert clients about the cost of insurance. Eventually, Cummings hopes that the company will also be able to provide information pertaining to real estate sales, for example the likelihood of future repairs.
“We’re getting them information that has traditionally been very difficult to obtain,” he said. “We can give [insurance firms] that information instantly at point of sale.”
The idea, Cummings said, is to minimize the need for physical inspections — a process that is time-consuming and could be replaced with AI-based evaluations tailored to a specific insurer.
According to Cummings, future company plans also include branching out to commercial properties and expanding predictions to include damage from fires and floods.