Learning From the Surfside Condo Collapse

Aug 10, 2021 / by Matt Hinds-Aldrich

The collapse of the Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside, Florida, shocked the nation, starting a much-needed conversation about the importance of risk mitigation. As the events unfolded, we learned that the information about the significant risk of collapse was known—to some—but simply went unheeded. 

In a timely article for the Linux Foundation, AAIS’s Dr. Matt Hinds-Aldrich discusses the need for expanded data sharing about risk assessment and risk mitigation activities to close the loop with insurers. Insurers have an important role to play in encouraging and ensuring compliance with risk mitigation best practices.  Yet, as we saw with the Surfside tragedy, mitigation data is often locked away in “siloed systems, managed by a range of different stakeholders.”

There is a solution, however, and that’s openIDL, a Linux Foundation initiative that uses Blockchain/distributed ledger technology to address data sharing in insurance regulatory reporting, while maintaining data security and privacy.

“With mitigation data, we need an approach where those who create and maintain data about mitigation activities maintain control over how their data is shared, who has access, and for what purpose. We need an approach that can break down the barriers that limit data sharing and thus limit the ability to evaluate the impact of mitigation activities to help those local agencies, local community groups, and local property owners demonstrate the value of the equity — be it financial, organizational, or sweat —they put into mitigation efforts. And we need an approach that limits the ability of third parties to monopolize data access while still allowing those with proprietary datasets a collectively beneficial and financially sustainable way to contribute to our detailed understanding of the peril.”

In short, openIDL provides the means to help move the needle, enabling communities conducting risk mitigation activities to be as vested in optimizing risk selection as underwriters. 

Click here to read Dr. Hinds-Aldrich’s full perspective…

Tags: openIDL, Technology, Issues & Trends, Data & Technology, Data Management/Distributed Ledger, Insurance News/Current Events, Blockchain, AAIS Insights, Data/Tech, AAIS Views, wildfire, NatCats

Matt Hinds-Aldrich

Written by Matt Hinds-Aldrich

Sr. Risk Strategy Lead - Dr. Matt Hinds-Aldrich, or "Dr Matt", has led several national initiatives and projects to improve how fire departments collect, analyze and use data to focus their efforts, improve their operations, and demonstrate their value. At AAIS, he helps lead the development, expansion, and adoption of the FLAMES (Fire Loss and Mitigation Evaluation Score) methodology for insurers to assess local fire protection and mitigation efforts. Matt’s Ph.D. research at the University of Kent (England) focused upon occupational culture, and specifically, firefighter culture.

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