McKenzie to provide trigger data for Yokahu parametric hurricane products

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McKenzie Intelligence Services (MIS), a geospatial information, insurance and reinsurance intelligence provider, is to be the sole trigger data provider for parametric insurer Yokahu when it launches a string of hurricane and tropical cyclone parametric insurance products.

Parametric triggerYokahu is the trading name for digital first Managing General Agent (MGA) McCosh Holdings Ltd., which specialises in using parametric underwriting and data visualisation to provide personal lines Hurricane and Tropical Cyclone protection.

Yokahu is already an approved Coverholder at Lloyd’s and is targeting to launch in four jurisdictions in 2021, Jamaica, the US Virgin Islands, The Bahamas, and St Lucia, with further expansion expected in 2022.

Under the terms of the partnership, MIS will become the sole trigger data provider for Yokahu’s parametric hurricane insurance product.

MIS will also act as the calculation agent, being an independent third party that will verify the parametric triggers for insurance payouts during an event, using automated intelligence from its Global Events Observer (GEO).

This implies that the parametric cover will be based on remote sensing and geospatial data inputs, rather than recorded wind speeds, with MIS’ technology set to make this possible for Yokahu.

That also means it should be possible to roll out the parametric hurricane product rapidly in new regions.

Of course, uptake of parametric insurance targeted at personal lines policy holders can be slow, as it is often seen as something buyers don’t need or want to pay for in addition to standard insurance covers.

But access to protection like this is one of the key ways protection gaps will be narrowed, so it’s encouraging to see another parametric risk transfer product targeted at people, rather than businesses.

Forbes McKenzie, founder of MIS said, “It is really heartening to see two insurtechs team up to support pioneering parametric insurance products that ultimately improve the resilience of people at risk of natural disasters.

“I’m delighted to be partnering with Tim and the innovative team at Yokahu to verify the parametric triggers for its ground-breaking hurricane insurance product. We originally supported Tim and his team as the data set provider to support the underwriting models for this product, so we are confident in this next step. Using GEO’s multi-source intelligence, MIS will help deliver independent, fast and accurate trigger verification to support claims decisions and payments for customers.

“This is innovative thinking at its best – the benefits of the parametric approach means that immediate help, resources and security can be available in the event of a hurricane.”

Tim McCosh, Founder of Yokahu, added, “We are excited to form this partnership with McKenzie Intelligence Services, which will see us harness their leading edge technology to provide independent verification of parametric event triggers – further cementing the confidence and trust in our solutions.

“From the day we created Yokahu and established our mission to close the hurricane protection gap, we vowed to be completely transparent, honest and do everything we can to ensure our customers and community understand all aspects of our operations and what we are able to provide.

“The average cost of hurricane insurance is inaccessible to most people, with traditional hurricane insurance products requiring people to pay premiums against the value of their homes.

“Our parametric approach means that a claims payout is determined by the severity of the event at hand – and therefore can be triggered automatically. And we have arranged these funds to be transferred to an individual’s mobile phone so they have easy access when it matters most.

“We have future ambitions beyond hurricane and our partnership with MIS will enable us to create new products more quickly whilst maintaining customer and underwriter trust.”

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