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Arson Claims on the Rise

Events over the last two years show that arson crimes appear to be rising across the country with insurance claims from fire losses as the logical extension of this activity. While there are many reasons or motivations for arson; the economic nature of COVID-19, the eviction moratorium, and cultural turmoil appear to be driving residential and commercial fire insurance claims.

When tenants stop making payments or customers no longer frequent a business, pressures mount on building owners to find solutions to a growing financial problem. Given the rise of the delta variant of COVID-19 and a return of state and local lockdowns seemingly imminent, arsons are unlikely to decrease any time soon.

While the publicly available data is only as recent as 2019, a look at the FBI Uniform Crime Report and expert interviews from media outlets around the country clearly shows arson is on the rise in the United States.

We have seen this before during the economic crisis in 2007-2008 and even in the 1970s in the Bronx borough in New York City. Arson has a long history in this country for those seeking a quick way out of a bad financial situation.

Luckily, Skopenow can assist insurance underwriters, claims associates, SIUs, fire departments, and law enforcement agencies with providing real-world context using risk-based decision making on Underwriting, Claims, SIU (Special Investigation Unit), law enforcement, and fire investigations.

Skopenow is a valuable tool when it comes to gathering evidence before, during and after a fire. Through the use of keywords, behavioral flags, and tags returned from searches, these open source intelligence (OSINT) tools can provide a wealth of data to help determine the potential motives, pressures, and incentives for intentional acts.

Skopenow’s automated machine vision can potentially provide a lifestyle and/or investigation profile of an insured, including property/contents condition, and if tenants are associated with the loss. A visual review of the property can speak volumes regarding its upkeep and status, especially if the property is up for sale at the time of the fire loss or potentially if vacant.


Records checks in Skopenow along with news articles or documents discovered can provide a historical review of violations, government actions and orders, and litigation cases to provide a detailed view of the circumstances involved.

Skopenow can also help in determining a property’s pre-loss condition relevant to underwriting, along with providing claims staff information or evidence pertaining to coverage issues involving the policy and loss.

Schedule a demo today and learn how Skopenow can assist you with your investigation needs for material evidence collection, or to locate actionable intelligence which can impact your loss and speed your case to conclusion.