Australia’s largest general insurer announced its venture fund has invested in Arturo, an insurance analytics provider which uses AI, satellites and drones to assess commercial and residential property.

Terms of IAG’s investment were not disclosed but was made in February by IAG Firemark Ventures as part of Arturo’s $8 million Series A.  

Arturo AI models are applied to data from satellite and drone images, mobile devices, property records, and weather, allowing many of the property assessments to happen without agents attending the property in person.

IAG says it will partner with Chicago-based Arturo to improve its customer experience by using the technologies to help customers when they experience a crisis like a flood or a bushfire.

“Delivering accurate property information without people on the ground is revolutionary and necessary in light of current global circumstances,” said Arturo CEO John-Isaac Clark.

“We will soon begin working with IAG to enhance how they analyse and evaluate property risk at the quote, pricing, underwriting, and renewal stages of the policy lifecycle, as well as identify which properties should be helped first and where to direct resources during natural disasters.” 

According to Gartner, insurance investigations are among the top three use cases for enterprise drone use and the analyst expect the amount of operational devices to triple over the next three years.

IAG, which includes brands NRMA and CGU, says it is also exploring ways to incorporate Arturo into the process of providing quotes for home insurance. 

The insurance giant is in the process of transforming from a traditional insurer into a “digital-first modular insurer” by expanding outside traditional verticals and taking a cloud first approach to its IT.

IAG Firemark Ventures Director Scott Gunther said the Arturo deal is another way to support IAG customers, particularly when they need it most.

“Arturo technology has the potential to help reinvent how we support customers, by using accurate property data quickly so that we prioritise customers who need help most after an event like a bushfire or a flood,” Gunther said.

“We are pleased to be Arturo’s first investor outside the US and look forward to working with the team to bring their insights and capabilities to our Australian and New Zealand insurance operations,” Gunther added.

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