Photo credit: foxnews.com
Over the weekend, Louisiana experienced the worst flooding the state has seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. A slow-moving tropical depression brought more than 30 inches of rain to parts of Louisiana, forcing the federal government to declare a major disaster on Monday. So far, at least 13 people have died, 30,000 people have been rescued from their cars and homes, and 40,000 homes and businesses have lost power.
Governor John Bel Edwards, who had to evacuate the Governor’s Mansion because of flooding, warned that the dangers are far from over. The Weather Channel reported at least six rivers hitting record high levels, with flood warnings still in effect.
As your insureds in Louisiana—and parts of Mississippi—prepare for continued flooding, you can get a more complete view of your potential exposure throughout this hard-hit region.
Quantify and act on the data you need right now
While the state waits for flood waters to recede and braces for possible flash flooding, the Louisiana Department of Transportation reported more than 280 roads were closed because of high water. Aside from rescue efforts, life has most certainly come to a standstill for your insureds in that part of the state.
To see the extent of the flooding, SpatialKey includes a flood footprint from our data partner, KatRisk. Armed with that information, you can see which properties have been affected, begin contacting your insureds, and mobilize your claims team to respond as quickly as possible.
In addition, SpatialKey offers you a choice of data providers beside KatRisk: JBA Risk Management is also available. You can gain a deeper understanding of the event by comparing and contrasting flood data sources from a variety of providers or select a single trusted data source as your preferred provider.
With the danger of flood still imminent in Louisiana, you can use the data from these expert sources to mitigate additional losses by reaching out to customers. Secondary effects of the flood will also almost certainly lead to more claims related to business interruption, contamination, and cleanup efforts. Evaluating the impacted areas now, can help your claims team determine if damage occurred from the initial flood or from a later peril.
Preparing your portfolio for increasing rainfall
Insurers know floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. But it may come as a surprise to learn that heavy rainfalls, like the most recent one in Louisiana, are on the rise because of climate change. The reason? Warmer air can hold more moisture, which in turn, causes more rain.
“Very heavy precipitation events, defined as the heaviest one percent, now drop 67 percent more precipitation in the Northeast, 31 percent more in the Midwest and 15 percent more in the Great Plains, including the Dakotas, than they did 50 years ago,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Although there’s nothing you can do about the flood risk you’ve already written, savvy insurers are using state-of-the-art tools and data to make better underwriting decisions. With SpatialKey, you can easily display areas where past or future hazard severity may be indicative of loss potential.
What’s more, you can identify and add policies that capture adequate premium, allowing you to grow a healthy flood portfolio as competition for that business expands in the wake of changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
To learn more about how SpatialKey can help you respond faster to floods and write profitable flood business, contact us today.