Understanding and managing natural hazards

Ali Smedley

Climate Risk is InsTech’s monthly newsletter dedicated to climate-related insurance news - you can sign up for free here.

Climate risk: understanding and managing natural hazards

Data and analytical tools to identify and measure the potential impact of natural hazards were first released about 30 years ago and have continued to evolve and expand. Preventing or reducing losses by identifying and incentivising actions policyholders can take to increase property resilience is also becoming a key focus for insurers.

At InsTech, we have observed a growing interest in secondary perils from insurers, new approaches to modelling natural perils by established vendors and start-ups, and a rise in third-party data consolidators and ecosystems for accessing hazard data.

InsTech’s next report, ‘Property Intelligence - understanding and managing natural hazards’, will review the techniques available today to help insurers understand, manage and mitigate risk for properties they are insuring.

To support the report’s launch, we are hosting a Live Chat to discuss the findings with guest speakers from EigenRisk, Gamma Location Intelligence and JBA Risk Management. The panel will discuss the latest trends in catastrophe modelling, hazard data and risk mitigation. Register here to attend on 30 March at 2:00pm GMT.

Property Intelligence Breakfast - HazardHub from Guidewire - plugging your property data gaps

If you are underwriting or analysing property risk, you know the importance of having accurate hazard data within your workflow. HazardHub, now part of Guidewire, offers over 1,400 risk factors providing a comprehensive view of what could go wrong at any chosen property in America. At this members-only event, you will be able to join Founder Bob Frady on 19 April, 8.30am GMT at The Ivy City Garden to gain a better understanding of risk profiles to optimise portfolio performance. Click above to register your interest.

Fathom: Flood modelling goes global

Matthew was joined by Fathom’s Dr Christopher Sampson and Dr Andrew Smith for podcast episode 231. The discussion covered how improvements in data resolution and increased computing power have changed flood modelling over the last 10 years, how to represent uncertainty in decision-making, and the work Fathom is doing with data and modelling partners such as Reask.

Maptycs: visualising property risk exposure

Founded in 2016, Maptycs provides a geospatial risk visualisation platform for property insurers, reinsurers, brokers and risk managers. Ali Smedley caught up with CEO and Co-founder Jacqueline Legrand to discuss how the Maptycs’ platform can support risk selection, pricing and event response, the company’s new climate risk analysis module and plans to integrate even more property intelligence data over 2023.

In conversation with Synergy: why claims data matters

Synergy, a Claims Consortium Group company, has created a claims management system, Synergy Cloud. Tara Allsopp joined Wayne Calderbank, Director of Data and Insight at Claims Consortium Group, to discuss Synergy’s acquisition of WeatherNet, a company offering weather data to over 90% of the UK insurance market, and how the company’s insights reduce claims fraud.

Mastercard: payment-led parametric insurance

InsTech’s Henry Gale recently spoke to Alice Glenister, Director, Insurance at Mastercard, about building greater resiliency in cities by providing them with the mechanism to deliver money directly into the hands of vulnerable or impacted residents before, during or after a natural disaster. The interview also covers business continuity and payment-led parametric insurance.

In the news…

Swiss Re, Guy Carpenter and ICEYE collaborate on flood insurance

The partnership will deliver a pilot parametric flood insurance scheme for communities in New York City. ICEYE will supply hazard data based on satellite imagery, sensors and social media images which determine the overall flood extent as well as flood depth at an individual building level, which will be used as the parametric trigger. The project is led by Carolyn Kousky, Associate Vice President for Economics and Policy at Environmental Defense Fund, and CNYCN (Center for NYC Neighborhoods). Keep an eye out for an InsTech podcast with Kousky coming soon. 

WhenFresh launches UK property-level cladding data set

WhenFresh has worked with RICS-qualified surveyors to create a cladding database of almost 500,000 residential properties within tall multi-dwelling units (MDUs) across the UK. Each property within these MDUs is assigned a green, amber or red rating, representing whether the building does not have cladding, potentially has cladding or is confirmed to have cladding.

Pay-outs for New Zealand floods reach $68m USD

According to provisional general insurance claims data released by the Insurance Council of New Zealand Te Kāhui Inihua o Aotearoa (ICNZ), insurers have paid out around $68 million USD for the flooding event that began on January 27th 2023. In total, around 48,000 claims have been lodged for the event to date.

MS Amlin to use Tensorflight’s property data

The London-based property insurer will use Tensorflight’s building attributes to improve the way underwriters assess property exposure. Jacob Grob, Tensorflight’s Chief Revenue Officer, recently joined Matthew on the InsTech podcast to discuss how the company uses AI, aerial and street view imagery to provide data and risk analytics on commercial and residential properties globally.

dClimate partners with WeatherLogistics for climate forecasts

Founded in 2014, WeatherLogistics provides forecasts of climate perils covering the next three months. Re-Climate, the company’s seasonal climate prediction system, features precipitation forecasts independently evaluated by the National Physical Laboratory. WeatherLogistics will now incorporate the Re-Climate API onto the dClimate data marketplace’s testnet product.

Floodbase to provide flood data platform to FEMA

Floodbase has been selected to provide a near-real time flood intelligence system for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The company will provide daily flood monitoring, mapping of ongoing events, and forecasting data to improve the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) damage estimate and flood response operations.

Understanding location data for parametric insurance

When covering farms or forests against extreme weather with parametric insurance, insurers need accurate and high-quality location information to understand the area’s climate risks. Insurer and MGA Descartes Underwriting has published a fact sheet for farmers and brokers explaining what Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are and how to create shape files, the digitised maps used by insurers when underwriting large fields or properties.

Swiss Re and Aon deliver parametric cover to Nepal renewable energy project

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and Aon have collaborated with the International Finance Corporation to develop a parametric insurance solution for a hydroelectric power station in Nepal. The payout is triggered by the shaking intensity at the project site and is based on shakemaps provided by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) after a major earthquake.

CGI and Project Seagrass release algorithm to help mitigate climate change

CGI has partnered with Project Seagrass, a global seagrass conservation charity, to develop an open-source algorithm that helps locate, quantify and track seagrass meadows, initially across the UK. The project uses CGI’s proprietary Earth observation data processing platform, GeoData360, to create the seagrass identification algorithm.

Aviva uses CelsiusPro for parametric rainfall cover

Aviva Canada now offers parametric excess rain coverage, with the support of CelsiusPro’s White Label Platform (WLP) solution. WLP provides Aviva with data feeds, an online premium calculator, policy generator, quote and bind monitoring tools, and a settlement calculator. Rainfall data for the parametric product trigger is provided by NASA.

Howden partners with the UNCDF to build climate resilience for communities in Fiji

Broker Howden has teamed up with the UN Capital Development Fund’s Pacific Insurance and Climate Adaptation Programme (PICAP) to help Fiji’s vulnerable communities build financial preparedness against climate events. PICAP has introduced parametric microinsurance products in Fiji, Vanuatu and Tonga, with SCOR providing reinsurance capacity. Howden is providing premium subsidy support.