We ask 4 Cat modelers: How is climate change impacting flood models?

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?”

InsurTech Reality Check: "Pie in the sky" or driving actual ROI?

If you’ve got your eyes set on technology that won’t move the needle this year, it’s time to reevaluate what can provide bottom line results in the short term. AI and machine learning will have their day in commercial insurance. But what are you doing today to drive tangible business results? InsurTech does not have to be a “pie in the sky” endeavor. It can be deployed right now.

Q&A with RedZone, wildfire hazard data provider

Factors like smoke and wind-driven embers were critical to the 2017 California wildfires, which resulted in $13 billion in insured losses, yet traditional incumbent models didn’t account for them. RedZone does. Lead by actual fire-fighting professionals who understand the nuances behind this growing risk, RedZone is at the forefront of innovations is U.S. wildfire data science with its one-of-a-kind Fire Frequency Score. And someone needs to be, because it’s a fact that wildfire season is no longer “seasonal,” but year-round.

InsurTech is an epic climb: Are you a contender?

Alpe d’Huez is a legendary climb, world-renown by cyclists. A relentless 8.5 miles with 21 hairpin bends and 8.1 percent gradient, it’s been a stage that can make or break the Tour de France for riders. But, it’s not included in every Tour. This epic climb only comes once in awhile. And, what’s important about it is the decisiveness of Alpe d’Huez in determining the overall leaders. Historically, the winner of the entire Tour has often been in the yellow leader jersey following the Alpe d'Huez stage. Meaning, how riders compete on this one stage is critical in determining the outcome of the entire race.

Q&A with KatRisk, global catastrophe modeler

KatRisk’s probabilistic multi-peril models are propelling this Cat modeler, largely known for their U.S. flood models, to the forefront of the flood modeling space. For more than four years, SpatialKey has worked with KatRisk to help underwriters and risk analysts gain a better understanding of flood risk. Our clients are finding that KatRisk’s overall score and flood depths by return period are helping underwriters understand both fluvial and pluvial flood risk like never before. In this interview, we talk with KatRisk co-founder, Dag Lohmann, who talks about the challenges of modeling U.S. flood risk, FEMA, and what’s next on the horizon for this innovative Cat modeler.

InsurTech is a game changer: What’s your game plan?

With the rise of InsurTech, the new world of insurance is indeed a playing field—players jockeying for positions, making plays, aligning their teams, and acquiring new ones. Then, there are those who aren’t really sure what position they’re supposed to be playing. For these reasons and more, the sports world is relevant to the present state of InsurTech—it requires a game plan and guts. You can either stay on the bench and watch it unfold, or get in the game and start making plays.

It’s time to evolve how you collaborate in a data-driven world

When I first discovered how well the insurance industry collaborates, I was blown away. As an outsider, learning how agents, brokers, carriers, and reinsurers all work together to identify, write, and share risk was both overwhelming and fascinating. I was impressed at how multiple insurers participate in sharing a single risk and how each does so leveraging its unique strategy and specialty. An industry that initially seemed boring to me became artful and fascinating, even noble. I continually reflect on how this level of collaboration and risk sharing makes tremendously ambitious projects—from skyscrapers to city centers—possible. And yet, surprisingly, this industry that is so fundamentally built upon collaboration seems to lag far behind its peers when it comes to technology innovation and collaboration.

Q&A with JBA, global natural hazard risk modeler

JBA Risk Management (JBA) is known as an authority on global flood risk so it’s no surprise that they’re constantly refining their flood data and flood maps. Since 2012 SpatialKey has partnered with JBA to help insurers better understand, select, and price flood risk accurately and with confidence. Recently, we caught up with Jane Toothill, Director of JBA, who sheds light on how improvements in their flood mapping are helping underwriters better assess and select this volatile risk.

Read on to learn about how JBA is taking on U.S. flood mapping (at 5m resolution), upcoming updates to their France flood maps, and what underwriters need to know about how climate change is impacting flood risk.

How insurers can gain a Twister-like understanding of tornado risk this season

At a glance:

  • A slew of tornadoes hit the Northeast this season causing massive damage. While insured losses are still being tallied, the twisters spun off from a chain of severe convective storms (SCS) that brought with them straight-line wind, hail, heavy rain, and flooding from Florida to New York.
  • Annual insured losses from severe convective storms are expected to approach $25 billion—that’s higher than hurricane and earthquake combined, according to new research from Karen Clark & Company.
Read on to learn what insurers can do to better assess and protect themselves, and insureds, from tornado risk this season.

Colorado’s costliest hailstorm (and natural catastrophe) one year later

 

Exactly one year ago today, as people were flooding out of their downtown Denver offices and beginning their commutes home, the costliest natural catastrophe in Colorado’s state history began wreaking havoc on the Denver metro area. And, it couldn’t have come at a worse time as hundreds of thousands of people hit the highway only to be pummeled by golf ball and baseball-sized hailstones. 

The event resulted in insured losses exceeding $2.2 billion according to NOAA, backing up claims professionals and auto body shops while causing massive business interruption costs.

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