Feds Underestimating Flood Risk and ‘The Strangeness Index’  

Posted by Bill Raymor on Mar 14, 2018 8:00:00 AM

PropertyCasualty360 published an article in December, 2017 that begins with this eye-opening quote, “Research conducted by a team of U.S. and U.K. scientists and engineers suggests that U.S. federal flood maps underestimate the number of Americans at risk for flood by more than 27 million people.”

A study from IOPscience gave a more onerous estimate of 41 million Americans living on the 100 year floodplain. And, with a value of $5.5 trillion! In contrast, current FEMA estimates are around 13 million Americans.

At the 2017 American Geophysical Union Meeting Dec. 11-15 in New Orleans, scientists presented a ‘redrawn’ flood map of the U.S. (coastal areas excluded) simulating every river catchment area. Intermap’s InsitePro flood mapping tool uses a mathematical tree structure called the Strahler Number to predict risk. It is a numbering system that correlates a numeric value to stream size from small tributaries to large riverways. The entire algorithm then uses our proprietary 5m seamless & contiguous bare earth elevation dataset to generate location specific flood risk scores.

Read More

Topics: Floods, Flood Insurance, Flood Risk, Risk Scoring, FEMA

The Ingredients of a Good Flood Model

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Mar 8, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Modeling how a river will flood, or how the sea will rise over the shore, or how rain will accumulate and flood an area, is a tricky thing to do. The variables are limitless, and of course an act of nature is by definition unpredictable. Algorithms can get more and more complicated as these variables are accounted for in the model, but in the end it’s impossible to model things like trees accumulating under bridges to create ad hoc dams. What can really help a flood model’s quality is the foundation upon which it’s built: the empirical ingredients, like elevation data.

Read More

Topics: Floods, Risk Management, Flood Modeling

Wintertime Floods

Posted by Ivan Maddox on Feb 27, 2018 3:43:55 PM

Way back at the beginning, we blogged about the different kinds of flood. Maybe we should have included winter flooding from ice floes. Granted, it is a variety of fluvial (or riverine) flooding, but there are some unique characteristics to this type of flooding.

Read More

Topics: Floods, Flood Modeling, Flood News

The Importance of Good Underwriting

Posted by Ivan P. Maddox on Feb 20, 2018 3:59:54 PM

The past year was a tough one for US cat losses, especially wildfire and flood. Last week we explored just how bad it was, but also just how much opportunity does exist in the US protection gap. The secret to unlocking that opportunity, without undue overexposure, is crisp underwriting.

Read More

Topics: Insurance Protection Gap, Effective Underwriting, Perils

The Protection Gap Quantified

Posted by Ivan P. Maddox on Feb 13, 2018 3:43:19 PM

Last week Insurance Journal ran a recap of the P/C Joint Industry Forum, held last month in NYC. If you underwrite flood or wildfire, go read it now and then come back here for a bit of commentary. If you are a blogger, chances are you have already read it.

Read More

Topics: Flood Insurance, Flood Risk, Insurance Protection Gap, FEMA

The Risks of Hazard Blog   rss-feed

Welcome to The Risks of Hazard, brought to you by Intermap Technologies®. From the latest industry news and trends, to insight from thought leaders around the globe, stay tuned for a variety of content aimed at helping you better understand the role of location-based intelligence in the world of insurance underwriting and risk assessment.

To see how Intermap delivers analytics tailored to your underwriting, visit our InsitePro page.

Subscribe to the Risks of Hazard blog!