IAG has invested in rural technology start-up Digital Agriculture Services (DAS), to help its customers better understand and manage their farm property risk by using new data and location insights from satellite imagery.

Established in 2017, DAS focuses on deep digital, domain knowledge, business and delivery expertise to offer greater access to data-driven insights, building the prosperity and sustainability of global agriculture. 

Australia’s largest insurer, which includes brands NRMA, CGU and SGIO, is continuing its technology expansion. Last month IAG invested in Arturo, an insurance analytics provider which uses AI, satellites and drones to assess commercial and residential property.

DAS says it can provide a virtual window into any rural, lifestyle or agricultural property, allowing customers to see, understand and assess physical risk remotely, including drought stress, flood, frost, fire, water or land use.

The platform also analyses and predicts productivity; assesses factors such as vegetation, flood or water; and offers risk scores for every rural property, including for bushfire.

Scott Gunther, director at IAG Ventures said combining DAS data, geospatial imaging, analytics and AI machine learning with IAG’s agriculture insurance knowledge will provide the potential to reinvent insurance for Australian farmers.

Anthony Willmott CEO at DAS. Supplied.

Gunther said, “In partnership with DAS we will be able to empower Agri customers with data and insights about their property and assets to help them better understand and prepare for risk. The insights and learnings are going to also allow us to explore new products and services for Australian farmers.

“As distributed and mobile workforces become more common, the real power of DAS is that it empowers employees and communities alike to make the right decisions rapidly and remotely,” he adds. 

IAG said its investment in DAS reflects the growing global demand for rapid, remote and robust property and farm-scale analytics that harness advances in machine learning and can accurately and objectively assess the risks related to weather and climate change. 

In the first phase of the partnership, IAG and DAS will provide all Australian rural property owners with access to a free risk report that outlines bushfire and climate risks, to help farmers better understand and prepare for natural disasters.

Anthony Wilmott, DAS co-founder and CEO said, “The technology has advanced to the point where it’s now possible to say what the risk is for this particular rural property, farm or portfolio, from anywhere in the world. That kind of property-level insight just wasn’t possible even a decade ago.

“Most ag-tech is about precision agriculture – helping decisions at plant or livestock level. We’re excited to work with IAG to help transform how off-farm decisions are made. IAG is also going to help DAS to develop out a Rural Insurance Hub in our product, which will be something that could benefit Rural insurers and farmers across the world.”

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