RAC in WA launches severe weather alert system

RAC insurance in Western Australia has partnered with UBIMET, an internationally recognized leader in meteorology and high-precision severe weather alerts, to roll out its severe weather alert system. A customer survey showed that RAC benefits from an increased customer recognition and reduced damage volume because customers act upon alerts.

RAC home insurance customers now receive timely, accurate and localized real-time alerts, which include actual and possible weather-related risks and recommendations on preventing or reducing damage. The alerts, which are customized to the insured addresses, are received via SMS and e-mail.

The roll-out of the system across RAC’s home insurance portfolio follows a 2014 four-month trial, run during WA’s traditional storm season from October through April. RAC and UBIMET are committed to supplying RAC home insurance customers with timely and accurate weather alerts for the long term, with a multi-year agreement being reached.

Customer survey confirms effectiveness of weather alerts

A customer survey conducted by RAC after three months of providing the severe weather service showed that 96 percent of respondents would choose to continue receiving severe weather alerts, with 74 percent of respondents acting upon alerts when they received them, and 77 percent forwarding the alert to family and friends, thus further maximizing the reach.

Severe Weather Alerts help insurance customers to take preventive action

“Severe weather alerts which are timely, accurate and personalized to people’s locations help customers to take positive and proactive measures when faced with inclement severe weather,” says Mathew Muller, UBIMET’s Sales Director for Australia. “It also increases positive consumer contact and customer service and helps enhance customer retention.

“Insurance is perceived as an essential cost, but one that is only of benefit in an emergency. Using UBIMET’s severe weather alerts, customers have a value-add service which means they can be reassured and take precautionary action before an incident may occur, protecting their assets which is great for both the insurer and the insured.”

UBIMET has worked with Austria’s leading insurance group, UNIQA, since 2004, providing alerts to customers in Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia. UBIMET severe weather alerts are widely used in Europe and are the foundation upon which the business was established.

High-precision weather alerts with proprietary Lightning Detection System

A key feature of UBIMET’s service is its Lightning Detection System, a network of sensors that have been installed across the country and can accurately distinguish between lightning that strikes the ground and that which discharges within clouds.

“UBIMET has invested in the best people and technology available in the field of meteorology,” explains Mathew Muller. “For example, UBIMET owns and operates its own national, high-precision lightning detection and tracking infrastructure, which has been a major project for us over the last two years. This gives us the advantage of not relying on other third party systems, which can restrict weather service providers.”

The UBIMET lightning sensors utilize the latest technology, however the infrastructure is only one part of detection. The analysis algorithms – the method by which the data received by the sensors is interpreted – result in superior detection efficiency and location accuracy.

“The science behind the UBIMET network is incredibly sophisticated and is being continually refined,” Muller continues. “Our meteorologists and our commercial partners have access to a lightning detection system that is able to accurately detect strikes to an accuracy of 100 metres and below, which has obvious safety and planning applications.”