AXA Climate has joined forces with Dutch satellite-observed data provider VanderSat to offer satellite data-driven parametric cover against drought-related losses.

Developed by VanderSat’s insights, the parametric insurance cover will feature policies that will pay out based on the measurement of soil moisture in individual field zones.

Soil moisture will be measured using precision microwave sensing from space.

VanderSat said that AXA Climate will leverage its satellite monitoring to initiate payouts the moment the index is above or below a certain level.

This approach is contrary to orthodox insurance policies that depend on loss adjustment in the field.

The approach is expected to save costs related to farm visits and loss assessment and slash payout time for the impacted clients.

The company intends to make the new risk management solution available worldwide to agribusiness supply chain actors including input suppliers, processors and cooperatives.

VanderSat chief technology officer and founder Richard de Jeu said: “One major advantage of microwave sensing is that cloud cover does not interfere with the measurement from space.

“We have been collecting daily information on soil moisture from different satellites for many years. As a result, we now have an archive of data that goes back to more than 18 years.

“These elements in combination with high-resolution sensing make AXA Climate’s satellite-derived products highly reliable for providing a flexible and cost-effective insurance policy to its customers.”

The Dutch firm said stated that it will gather the microwave data from every field at a spatial resolution of 100 x 100m.

AXA Climate CEO Antoine Denoix said: “Technological advancements are at the core of our business. Integration of VanderSat’s satellite data into our product offering will allow us to make claims’ processing much faster and smoother for our clients.”