Allianz Re's agriculture team is developing a new crop insurance approach which better manage Earth’s natural resources, the group announced today.
In cooperation with the software company Sarmap, Allianz plans to use radar-based remote sensing software to not only allow biomass growth to be measured, but to monitor and measure the potential yield of agricultural areas.
Compared to remote sensing technology that is based on purely optical sensors, Allianz said the radar technology can convert satellite images into data material of considerable informational value, irrespective of weather conditions and the time of day.
This technology will be available exclusively to Allianz Re.
"Securing and increasing food production will be one of the main political and social issues facing us in the near future", said Clemens von Weichs, CEO of Allianz Re.
"As with many economic issues, insurance can act as a guarantor for stability and continuity in this area, too."
"We can quite literally watch the grass grow", added Thomas Heintz, agronomist and head of agriculture at Allianz Re.
"When the European Space Agency starts in 2013 to make satellite images available on the Internet on a weekly basis and free of charge, we will have this technology at our fingertips.
"We can estimate a field's current potential yield and monitor how it develops during the vegetation period - a fundamental prerequisite for multi peril crop insurance."
In the event of a loss, Allianz said the software can be used to determine in detail the cause and impact of the damage.
It concluded that this closes data gaps that have made agricultural insurance difficult, and sometimes even impossible, in many areas in the past.
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