This startup uses AI to check out rooftops for insurance purposes

This startup uses AI to check out rooftops for insurance purposes
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle
4 Apr, 2018

California-based startup Cape Analytics uses artificial intelligence (AI) to check out your rooftop for insurance purposes. By analysing aerial imagery, the company can tell insurers the condition of your roof, as well as automate away human inspectors originally meant for the purpose.

Most of the imagery comes from airplanes, although drones and satellites also play a role, chief executive and co-founder Ryan Kottenstette told Forbes. He added that Cape Analytics also takes in Earth observations from Google. 

Deep analysis distinguishes Cape from other imagery analytics firms such as Orbital Insight, Kottenstette said in the Forbes report.

"What makes us unique is that we provide property intelligence for enterprise customers that are interested in that (deep analysis), particularly insurance companies," Kottenstette said in the report. "We are laser-focused on a vertical rollout as opposed to more of a platform approach," he added.

To process all the imagery, Cape Analytics’ staff trains the algorithms to figure out the roof, the building footprint, and whether the home has a new construction.

"We’ve put together a world-class team of computer vision and AI people as well as data scientists," said Kottenstette in the report. "We do all that work in-house."

The startup's AI team has co-founder and tech chief Suat Gedikli, who has a doctorate in computer science and has developed computer vision models for robots. The vice-president of data analytics, Olivier Collingnon, has worked on data science projects, including models for catastrophe risk-modelling specialist RMS.

Recently, Cape Analytics announced it is extending its service to the entire US, except Alaska and Hawaii, to cover over 70 million homes, Forbes said.