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RFID News Roundup

Stora Enso, Atos partner on sustainable automated retail solutions; PragmatIC, Schreiner MediPharm team up for smart labels; Understory, MSI GuaranteedWeather intro weather sensor for auto insurance; Altair Semiconductor unveils automotive IoT chipset; the Industrial Internet Consortium updates its IIoT technical report; PT Next acquires RFID software company CodeNameWhat; Triax Technologies, Skanska to co-present at Autodesk University on IoT systems.
By Rich Handley

Understory, MSI GuaranteedWeather Intro Weather Sensor for Auto Insurance

Understory has released its Auto-Hail Safe system, a data-driven hail insurance product for automotive dealers to address billions of dollars in hail damage. Understory's Dot sensors are designed to capture ground-truth weather data. Using proprietary technology to provide coverage, reduce processing times and process quick payouts, Understory partnered with MSI GuaranteedWeather to bring Auto-Hail Safe to market.

Understory is intended to simplify insurance complexities with a single platform that empowers insurers and insured. In the case of a hailstorm, the on-location Dot sensor automatically sends precise information about hail size to the insurance company. When a claim is triggered, an auto dealer receives a check within one to two weeks.

"Understory is introducing a paradigm shift to the insurance industry," said Alex Kubicek, Understory's founder and CEO, in a prepared statement. "Our precision sensors… enable innovative products and fulfill the promise of insurance digitization… We are talking about parametric insurance: a data-driven approach to financial risk, backed by the most trusted names in the business like MSI GuaranteedWeather, a first tier reinsurer, and many others. "

A single hailstorm can cause millions of dollars in damages to an auto dealer's inventory due to open-lot vehicle exposure. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 4,600 destructive hailstorms hit the United States in 2018, resulting in more than $8 billion of damage. Until now, the insurance industry has lacked the technology and data required to accurately price hail-related policies with the uncertainty and volatility introduced by climate change.

This absence left the auto industry vulnerable, the company explains. Many insurance carriers in high-risk states, such as Texas, Colorado and Kansas, have either refused to underwrite open-lot policies or have skyrocketed prices. In order to afford open-lot insurance, auto dealers have been left purchasing policies that lack critical coverage and are unable to fix or replace their damaged inventory. In some areas, deductibles now exceed the value lost, resulting in high premiums misaligned to the damage caused.

Auto-Hail Safe provides parametric insurance that can be used to cover economic damage from vehicles, roofs, property loss, revenue loss, advertising and other expenses. Each Dot sensor collects 125,000 measurements per second, including hail, wind, rain, temperature, air pressure, humidity and solar radiation. This data is then uploaded wirelessly from each solar-powered sensor. When grouped over larger areas, the Dots create a network that tracks conditions, gathers data and understands the DNA of each storm that passes over dealership lots or farms.

Insurance brokers can sign-up to sell Auto-Hail Safe at understoryweather.com. Understory will install and maintain a rooftop Dot sensor on each policy holder's dealership to provide precise weather measurements. Once hail reaches the conditions agreed upon in the policy, the sensor will activate claims to the insured, with auto dealers no longer required to file paperwork.

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