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AIR, Corp Uses ENVI to Determine Accuracy of Insurance Claims

Customer Challenge

Every year, thousands of insurance claims are filed with individuals seeking compensation for natural disasters, such as flooding and hail, which have damaged or destroyed their agricultural fields. Though some of these claims are genuine and reflect farmers' financial vulnerability,a number of the claims are fraudulent. Air, CORP of Columbia, MO needed a way to help their government clients determine which claims were fraudulent.

Solution Achieved

AIR,Corp founders John Brown and Maria Brown used satellite imagery and ENVI to develop a system for determining the legitimacy and extent of natural disaster damage on farms. Since 2000, they've solved over twenty agriculture insurance fraud cases for the U.S. Department of Justice, USDA Risk Management Agency and private insurance companies.

In a typical case, John Brown analyzes historical Landsat imagery to determine if the crops in question were actually planted, the types of crops which were planted, and to estimate yields on specific fields. Air,Corp has trained over 22 federal employees to use vegetation-specific and tools and algorithms in ENVI to verify claims and identify potential fraud. Their work in the past five years has proven that a significant percentage of fields for which damage-related insurance claims were filed were never actually planted.

AIR,Corp estimates that the cases they have solved exceed $30 million dollars in unpaid claims. In areas where they have proven fraud, and where federal trials have been held to prosecute the offenders, surveys show that agriculture-related insurance fraud has been reduced significantly.

Because of the innovative approach developed by Air,Corp and Maria Brown, ENVI is now the primary analysis tool used by the Risk Management Agency for crop evaluation and fraud detection. In addition, AIR,Corp is now using ENVI to resolve water-related issues in agriculture and urban water supplies. Says Brown, “We have successfully used imagery from 1974 to the present to demonstrate water use in irrigated fields in Texas around major aquifers. We are also in the process of employing satellite water analysis to detect illegal water use.”



  • Using ENVI, Air, Corp created a solution wherein insurance companies can now discover and prove fraudulent insurance cases
  • Using ENVI and Air, Corp's solution, the U.S. Federal Government saves millions of dollars by not paying fraudulent claims
  • AIR,Corp can now help assess claim damage by comparing new imagery to historical imagery.


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