September 2023

Executive summary

The rising frequency and intensity of natural disasters are leaving insurers and policyholders with a complex series of challenges to grapple with. The need for swift and accurate claims handling has never been more crucial.

Big data has emerged as a powerful tool, improving claims efficiency and streamlining insurance response to catastrophic events.

New sources of structured and unstructured data can be harnessed and analyzed to enhance the claims process, resulting in a faster, more efficient response to surge events, preventing loss creep and helping claimants recover more quickly.


The insurance industry's ability to cope with a 'surge' of claims following a natural disaster remains one of its biggest challenges.

  • Big data has huge potential for speeding up the claims settlement process, while improving accuracy and preventing losses from spiraling out of control.
  • The intersection of new datasets and advanced analytics will help carriers determine losses in near real-time, helping affected communities recover more quickly and enhancing insurance reputations.
  • More accurate loss estimates can also improve reserving, enabling insurers to ensure sufficient funds are set aside to cover claims.
  • However, data from IoT devices, satellites, social media, and/or public sources may involve personal or sensitive information. Insurers must implement robust security measures to protect data against breaches or unauthorized access.

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CONDITIONS AND LIMITATIONS Gallagher's global operations, including a network of correspondent brokers and consultants, offers client-service capabilities in more than 130 countries around the world. This report and supporting information is not intended to provide legal or financial advice and reflects our understanding as of August 2023. It should not be regarded as a comprehensive statement of the law and/or market practice in the regions covered. You should not act upon information in this publication nor determine not to act, without first seeking specific legal and/or specialist insurance and risk management expertise. Should you require advice about your specific insurance arrangements or claim circumstances, please contact your Gallagher account representative.

© 2023 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.