'Tis the Season for Community Involvement—and Advisory Councils

Dec 20, 2021 / by Matt Hinds-Aldrich

With the holidays and the end of the year upon us, it is the time to reflect upon the past year. And it is the time of year we tend to think about coming together, as a community, to share our experiences. In our case, I’m referring to AAIS’s product-focused advisory councils.

One of the notable accomplishments of 2021 was the first AAIS Fire Advisory Council. This advisory council coincides with and supports the development of the new FLAMES (Fire Loss and Mitigation Evaluation Score) program AAIS launched earlier this year but goes further. The Fire Advisory Council is made up of two groups of key stakeholders who are separately interested in reducing fire exposures and related losses. The first group comprises more traditional representatives of our Member carriers and Associate Member Partner companies with a specific interest and expertise in fire protection. The second group has historically been at arm’s length from the insurance industry — fire protection industry subject matter experts (SMEs).

That is the beauty of AAIS’s product advisory councils, bringing together diverse expertise and insights to tackle the problems we are all facing. This is especially pertinent when focusing attention on fire. Fire — appropriately known as Peril A — has been the foundation of property and casualty insurance since the beginning. So, what could we possibly learn about fire that we haven’t already known about for years? Plenty.

Many of the best learnings that have come from the first three meetings of the fire advisory council have been a direct result of pairing two groups that have largely operated in parallel universes for the past century. For example, one topic that emerged was ways to address fires in buildings under construction, a major focus in the fire protection world as well as the Inland Marine/Builder’s Risk side of the P&C industry. After discussions at an advisory council meeting, the topic will now be featured in a forthcoming panel discussion at a major fire industry conference. Similarly, wildfire — and especially wildfire mitigation —led to a sneak peek release of the AAIS Wildfire Resource Center (ask your AAIS Engagement Manager for more details).

“Measuring Mitigation” and “Breaking Down the Barriers Between the Insurance Industry and the Fire Protection Industry” will be consistent themes discussed in the AAIS Fire Advisory Council well into 2022 and beyond. There is much to be gained from collectively addressing some of the “wicked problems” that challenge our industry. Working collaboratively is the only way to make a dent, and AAIS Advisory Councils are great ways to work together to solve these problems. If collectively working to reduce fire exposures and losses is something that motivates you, we’d welcome you to join us. We are especially looking for additional representatives from AAIS Members and other insurance industry professionals to join.

And I would be remiss to exclude that Christmas Day and Christmas Eve are among the leading days of the year for U.S. home fires. Familiarize yourself with these holiday safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association and enjoy a happy, restful, and safe holiday season!

Tags: Insights, Issues & Trends, Data & Technology, Homeowners, New/Emerging Risks, Modeling/Predictive Analytics, Fire, AAIS News & Views, AAIS Insights, Modeling/Actuarial, Insurance Line of Business, NatCats, Fire Advisory Council, AAIS FLAMES, AAIS Wildfire Resource Center

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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