European Space Agency funds satellite profiling initiative to help insurers better understand subsidence

The European Space Agency has recently awarded Property Assure Limited funding for its Ground Instability Risk Profiling initiative (GIRP). The 0.5 million euro funded study, will assess the benefits of integrating Earth Observation and GNSS capability with property data sources across the entire insurance sector, ranging from underwriting to claim handling..
A number of key global insurance related organisations representing insurers, re-insurance, broking and loss adjusting will be involved with the project which commenced on 1 July.  The service will be supported by a number of key suppliers in the Geology and Space Technology industry. 
Bob Blunden, Property Assure’s chairman explained: “This project places Property Assure at the forefront of a new and exciting level of innovative thinking in the subsidence industry providing the opportunity for satellite capability to be thoroughly assessed for the benefit of the  UK’s insurance market’ 
Andy Lucas, Managing Director of Property Assure, added: “You may think that measuring such small movements would be impossible by satellite, but with the advancement of space technology, we are confident we will develop a platform to integrate satellite data in a day-to-day environment.”
Swiss RE in conjunction with the Swiss Institute of Technology predicts soil subsidence will worsen and spread in Europe, with some areas seeing a more than 50% increase in future losses over the next 10-25 years. In the last 10 years alone, subsidence has already cost the economy £3bn. 
Although there have been significant developments in flood mapping, subsidence and ground stability still remain a challenge. It is hoped this will be addressed by the Ground Instability Risk Profiling service, and the project will take 10 months to complete.
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