The Friday Five: Week of July 29, 2019

If you care about what’s happening in the world of property and casualty (P&C), then this is the place to be. Each week, we serve up a bite-size roundup of the latest news, hot topics, and (admittedly subjective) tidbits to keep curious insurance professionals, like you, in-the-know.

2019 is going to be BIG for U.S. private flood insurance

  1. Advancements in flood mapping, model science, and analytics mean insurers have the information they need to more accurately quantify and price flood risk  
  2. NFIP is openly acknowledging the need for more private sector involvement, with (fingers crossed) more favorable legislation likely coming down the pike
  3. Consumers and businesses alike are becoming savvier to the need for flood insurance or better coverage (e.g. Hurricane Florence exposed a large protection gap with an estimated 70% of total losses uninsured)
  4. Insurers are looking for new markets and areas to expand their portfolios—and US flood is a leading candidate
  5. With an extensive amount of excess capital in the market, now is a prime time for startups, re/insurers, MGAs, and brokers to partner up—and dip their toes in the private flood pool

NFIP update: What P&C insurers need to know

At a glance:

  • National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was extended (again) on Thursday, Dec 6
  • This was the ninth short-term extension in 2018, and the eighteenth extension since 2008
  • Congress has until Friday, Dec 21 to pass another extension 
  • A long-term solution remains elusive while the NFIP continues to lose an estimated $1.4 billion each year and remains $20+ billion in debt to the US Treasury
  • Despite the NFIP, the private flood insurance market grew $217 million in 2017

Streamlined access to JBA's 5m Florida Flood Maps

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.

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.

Q&A with Ambiental, global flood data provider

If you don’t know Ambiental, now’s a good time to get familiar with this global flood data provider that specializes in analyzing flood risk and modeling flood hazard. They’ve got a strong track record of increasing the precision of pricing and loss estimation for insurers and reinsurers. Now that their data has been integrated into SpatialKey, we thought it’s a good time to catch up with Evan Shallcross, Technical Manager at Ambiental, who had this to say about underwriting flood risk, progressive flood models, flood maps, and more. 

NFIP reform and flood insurance privatization - the latest

At a glance: 

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