In this 3-minute video, Tom Link, SpatialKey Founder and CEO, talks with Insurance Thought Leadership about how SpatialKey is helping P&C organizations make better decisions by enabling, enriching, and analyzing any and all data—via a single solution. He also explains why data is both a problem and an opportunity for insurers, especially with the influx of more sophisticated hazard and event data. Using the 2017 hurricane season as an example, Mr. Link describes how insurers, brokers, and MGAs may struggle with accessing the right data, at the right time.
Thousands of structures are still at risk as relentless Santa Ana winds continue to cause two new flare-ups in the past day. Crews are making progress on the Woolsey fire with 40 percent containment now. To the north, the Camp fire is still a concern, having grown in the last 24 hours. It seems each year that California wildfires, in particular, are growing more deadly and destructive. Citing the role of climate change, California Governor, Jerry Brown, declared, "This is not the new normal, this is the new abnormal." Santa Ana winds, low humidity, and a dry ground created the perfect conditions for fires to spread rapidly, leaving many without notice, and some, without a way out.
KatRisk’s inland flood depth footprint is just one of the many hurricane post-event footprints made available during recent hurricanes.
With hurricanes comes a deluge of data. First, you have to obtain it, then comes the job of making sense of all of it. Whether you use SpatialKey for your analysis, or another data enrichment and geospatial analytics solution, here are a few tips and definitions to help you make sense of event footprints.
Global flood expert, JBA Risk Management (JBA), and leading data enrichment and geospatial insurance analytics firm, SpatialKey, have collaborated to provide JBA’s new 5 meter flood maps and associated pricing data to insurers who underwrite and manage flood risk in the state of Florida. These are the most detailed flood maps available for Florida and the start of the initial rollout of JBA’s high-resolution maps for the continental United States. The maps are now available for use within SpatialKey and will bring increased insight into flood risk to the wider insurance community.
At a glance:
Hurricane Michael has rapidly intensified. Now the question is, will it hold its strength with landfall? According to forecasters, Hurricane Michael's rapid intensification over the past two days, despite shifting winds, "defies traditional logic." Michael is expected to make history, as it will be the strongest hurricane to ever come ashore (since 1851) along the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane warnings are currently posted for the Florida Gulf coast from the Alabama/Florida border to Suwanee River, Florida, including Pensacola, Panama City, Destin and Tallahassee.
While we would like to think last year’s hurricane season was an anomaly, recent NOAA research points to more frequent and severe hurricanes due to climate warming. This means re/insurers, MGAs, and brokers alike, will need to become more proficient at the job of operationalizing sophisticated hazard data. As a 2017 report from McKinsey & Company found, “...a large operational performance gap remains. These disasters will likely demonstrate significant value for those insurers that have made the investment in digital tools. Insurers that have not and were highly exposed to the hurricanes will find their operations severely challenged….”
At a glance:
Centered about 130 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, Florence is moving northwestward—slowly. Although downgraded to a Cat 2, the original storm surge predictions are still valid with the National Hurricane Center stating Wednesday evening that, "the wind field of the hurricane continues to grow in size. This evolution will produce storm surges similar to that of a more intense, but smaller, hurricane, and thus the storm surge values seen in the previous advisory are still valid."
Just a year ago Hurricane Harvey was making landfall on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Now, the projected hurricane season looks quite different, having been downgraded most recently by NOAA. It would be easy to become complacent—if not for Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone, barreling down on the Hawaiian islands. We may not see a string of hurricanes like last season, but Hurricane Lane is a reminder that it does, in fact, only take one hurricane. There’s no time like the present to learn from the past and get your operational “ducks in a row”.
Hurricane Lane barrels towards Hawaii (photo courtesy of cbsnews.com)
Almost exactly one year after Hurricane Harvey dropped 50 inches of rain on Texas, Hurricane Lane, a Category 4 cyclone, is now barreling towards the Hawaiian islands, with its outer rainbands already drenching the Big Island. Forecasters say that it’s on course to move very close to the islands, or, make landfall from Thursday through Friday. With the likelihood of a direct hit growing, authorities have urged residents to set aside two weeks worth of food and water.
Recently, Swiss Re announced that that the firm believes that 2017’s series of catastrophes occurring in the second half of the year is not a one-in-100 year event, but more like a one-in-10 year event:
"Climate change is in fact warming not just the Earth but also the oceans and one of the reasons why the expectation of future hurricanes is so high is that last years' three hurricanes together—the $135 billion of losses—are a one-in-10-year event not a one in a 100-year event….We see the possibility for a repetition of these kinds of losses in the foreseeable future." -John Dacey, Chief Financial Officer, Swiss Re
Dacey is not the only high-profile insurance executive to comment on climate change. Evan Greenberg, Chairman and CEO of Chubb, recently asked, “Given there have been three one-in-100-year floods in 18 months, how can Harvey represent a 1 percent chance of occurring as the models suggested?”