A recent article detailing the launch of a new satellite for Google Earth started me thinking about how much the imaging industry has changed. The new satellite will have an accuracy of about 10 to 25 feet. If you checked your house using one of the public mapping services several months ago, you probably saw a photo that was years out of date. A fresh check of the satellite services for my house showed a photo probably taken within the last couple of months. More that just a voyeuristic pursuit, the satellite services have been used recently to look for Steve Fossett.State and local governments have long been using these services. One of the uses is zoning enforcement. Geographical information systems are fed information about zoning. It is matched with satellite maps. New images are used to determine if any encroachments or new construction has taken place. Some counties use these systems for property tax enforcement, checking for new additions to existing property.
Searching for how satellite information has been used by the insurance industry does not yield much. I was able to find how one company used satellite information in a fraud case. We have to realize that satellite images will be more accurate and current in the future. One day, someone taking an insurance application will view a satellite image on screen after inputting the address. Using that image, basic information could be associated with policy information. Satellite image information could be used to determine new construction just as counties are doing now. Of course, you will no longer have to ask "how far do you drive to work?" You just enter the work address, and a map with distance information will be displayed. It will be interesting to see how policy administration vendors utilize this new source of information.
-Howard E. Kennedy www.iso.comOne day, someone taking an insurance application will view a satellite image on screen after inputting the address. Using that image, basic information could be associated with policy information.