Athena for Underwriting Wildfire Risk

Athena Intelligence
5 min readJul 17, 2023

In hurricane catastrophe modeling, the division between frequency and severity is well understood. Any number of hurricanes might exist, but what matters to a risk modeler is how many achieve landfall (frequency) and how much damage they do (severity). Unfortunately, no similar concepts exist for wildfires. Athena’s Voice of the Acre® distinguishes between the conditions of the land (conditional risk) and likelihood of structural damage and economic loss (probability risk).

Most underwriters want a Yes/No decision for their underwriting of wildfire risk. Though a number of data providers, Athena now provides this as a Green (low risk, ok to underwrite), Red (high risk, deny coverage) and Yellow (has mitigating factors which make it worth taking a second look).

Adoption of Athena Wildfire Risk Scores is easy to implement in legacy underwriting systems. Athena’s scoring can be pulled in as a vendor product, just ask your software provider for the details.

While Athena’s offering IS a better mousetrap, our philosophy is Easy-To-Use Trumps a Better Mousetrap Every Time.

Above are sample Green vs. Red underwriting decisions. The uncolored areas, within the circle are the uninhabited wildlands. In this example of a Green property, this is largely unvegetated. For the Red property, the uninhabited area has trees and plants, and the neighborhood has enough greenery to pose a threat.

The Green/Yellow/Red scores are based on information that is widely available, processed into dozens of derivatives and indexes that reflect how these components interact. The basic report includes 9 of the most widely used indicators. A description of these and insights can be found in our article 9 flags on the Voice of the Acre® Wildfire Report.

While we don’t know where wildfires are going to occur in the next 12 months, we know that regardless of how many wildfires happen, or where they occur, a year from now we will be able to look back and a minimum of 70% of the fires will have occurred on land that we currently rate Red.

Yellow scores are more nuanced, as fires and fire risk come in many flavors.

If a carrier wants to be aggressive and seeks significant growth, many properties which score Yellow are worth taking a second look. For more information the details, click here: Profitably Underwriting Properties with Wildfire Exposure.

Ask if Athena’s G/Y/R is available, from your underwriting software vendor, for side-by-side comparisons.

Our goal is to make our data easy to use, and as simple as it needs to be (i.e. G/Y/R) without being more simple than it needs to be.

Easy-to-Use beats a Better Mousetrap, but with the help of its industry partners, such as Key Management Group and Betterview, Athena has retained the better mousetrap.

Athena Intelligence Services and Products

As of July 1, 2023, Athena offers the following products:

Individual Property Address Lookup Report

A one-page Athena Intelligence assessment of the property, with the conditional, location-specific risk of wildfire exposure and loss potential. The report provides a stochastic likelihood of the expected average annual loss probability at the specific location using actual historical wildfire data and the conditions on the ground at the time of the event.

This is available through an internet portal or, via API, through most property insurance underwriting software vendors.

We encourage you to try this for yourself, by registering at AthenaIntel.io. (Please wait for a confirmation email to access the portal.)

Property Schedule Risk Analysis

Athena will provide a risk assessment of a portfolio of properties using our trademarked Voice of the Acre® comprehensive wildfire risk analysis. This includes projections of expected average annual loss for each location, as well as the combined schedule.

Renewal Property Risk Evaluation Services

For property insurers, Athena provides a comprehensive risk assessment of a renewal portfolio on a quarterly, semi-annual or annual basis. This assessment is intended to enable the client to proactively plan for upcoming renewals when they know the true nature of exposure to wildfire risk.

We offer carriers an evaluation of all properties rejected in the prior 12 months. How much money did you leave on the table? Send us an email at Info@Project-Athena.com

Point of Sale Property Lookup

This service is designed for the insurance agent or property broker, for use when assessing a new business opportunity. This service is delivered in real time and empowers the broker to educate the client on risks and assist in sales decisions in real time.

Portfolio Analysis Services

Comprehensive risk portfolio analysis for primary carriers, reinsurers, brokers, REITS, MGAs, risk analysts, pricing actuaries, and others in to evaluate the overall risk of wildfire on the portfolio. Designed to inform decisions on capital, capacity, reinsurance, risk mitigation, optimization, underwriting, pricing, claims resource allocation, and broker relations.

As a synthetic data vendor, Athena also makes the components of this analysis available to catastrophe modelers to incorporate into their proprietary models.

Prospect Targeting Based on Risk Optimization

Tired of having your property insurance prospects declined? Athena can identify properties nearby with lower risks. Athena can show gradations of wildfire risk to assist you in building your business.

Program / Coverholder Underwriting Services

Athena can serve as a Program Manager or Cover-holder resource management services provider by assisting a third-party administrator with vital risk intelligence to help manage carrier paper profitably.

Constructing Underwriting Rules Models

Athena will work with a client to construct a comprehensive underwriting rules program to be integrated within an existing program underwriting rules model. These services are offered to primary carriers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, TPS’s, cover-holders and MGA’s.

Constructing Pricing Models

Athena will work with a client to construct a comprehensive pricing model to be integrated within an existing pricing model for both voluntary markets and surplus lines. These services are available to primary carriers, reinsurers, agents, brokers, cover-holders, TPA’s, MGA’s.

Follow us on Linked In or contact us at Info@Project-Athena.com

Athena is a next generation InsurTech data vendor which produces synthetic data. The earth’s essential data is refined to make it easy for enterprises to use environmental information for future contracts, proprietary business decisions and risk management.

Contact us at Info@Project-Athena.com

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Athena Intelligence

Athena Intelligence weaves vast amounts of disaggregated environmental data. Drop us a line (Info@Project-Athena.com), or visit www.athenaintel.io