The sunshine state is having more problems with sinkholes. A Florida company called CDS Business Mapping is working with insurance agents and underwriter’s to provide risk reports based on geographic data and maps. The company has mapped areas in ten counties that are sinkhole hazards.
Florida’s Insurance Commissioner stated that sinkhole claims are one of the top five cost drivers that are causing insurance companies huge financial losses. In three years, Citizen’s insurance has paid almost 250 million dollars in sinkhole claims; and has another 100 million reserved for “in process” or “pending” claims.
Sinkholes are a common, naturally occurring (geologic) phenomenon, and Florida has more sinkholes than any other state in the nation. They actually play a large part in Florida’s natural environment. Sinkholes are the primary path for rainwater to refill subsurface groundwater; an important part of the aquifer system that supplies 95 percent of Florida’s drinking water.
However, when they occur in populated areas, they can be quite destructive; causing major damage to homes, businesses and streets. This is where CDS Business Mapping enters the picture. The company, founded in 1994, creates and implements mapping solutions based on Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
They have developed RiskMeter Online; a real-time underwriting application using mapping technology to determine property risk. The software can give locations, size and distance to sinkholes near any address that is entered. It can also do catastrophic modeling, building characteristics and many other types of reports.
By using this service, insurance companies are hoping to reduce their losses on sinkhole claims; and increase their knowledge about the areas that are more prone to sinkhole activity.