Insurance

Insurers deploy AI against California's wildfire crisis

Photo illustration of a matchbook with umbrellas instead of matches.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

To keep up with California's unrelenting wildfire threat, some insurers are now turning to AI to predict fire risk with unprecedented, structure-by-structure detail.

Why it matters: This will allow them to cover homes in areas that they would otherwise have passed over — but potentially at the cost of hiking rates for those who can least afford it.

Expert Voices

Automakers could use vehicle data to compete with auto insurers

Illustration of a car stuffed with 1s and 0s, some 1s and 0s are spilling out.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Automakers are beginning to offer subscription packages that include insurance, typically via a third-party provider. Tesla has gone a step further, recently announcing it will offer its own policies, which may signal a larger shift in auto insurance.

Why it matters: The volume of vehicle behavioral data that connected vehicles will generate could be leveraged by automakers to edge into the insurance market, while enabling them to proactively protect drivers by recommending safer routes.