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JBA and ImageCat partner on flood mapping


A partnership between two catastrophe modelling firms will allow re/insurers to map flood exposures in 168 countries and get a single, consistent view of all their global flood risks for the first time.

The partnership is between JBA Risk Management and ImageCat. JBA’s Global Flood Map has been made available in ImageCat’s new analytical platform inhance, allowing users to identify where their risks lie in relation to the maps’ flood outlines across all the world’s major river basins.

The lack of consistent global flood mapping was a major difficulty for re/insurers with global exposures, explained Jill Boulton, director of JBA Risk Management.

“Rivers flow across country boundaries, sometimes through several countries. Assessing exposure across all countries was both complicated and inaccurate because the available maps varied in resolution and modelling technologies,” she said.

Launched in May 2014, inhance offers JBA’s Global Flood Maps as part of its comprehensive range of hazard datasets. By using the JBA flood maps in inhance international property owners and re/insurers can get a better understanding of their flood exposures at address level, particularly for areas where they have non-modelled risks.

Boulton said: “The current trend towards more erratic weather systems globally brings with it a greater risk of floods. Just recently, for example, three-months-worth of rain hit the Balkans in the space of a few days. Initial estimates indicate damages of more than one billion euros in both Bosnia and Serbia.”

Flooding has been identified as the first of the three leading risks for Europe associated with climate change.

In its latest report the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that if no additional steps are taken, flood damage to the European coast could increase by €11 billion a year.

Boulton added: “More than ever before is there a need for re/insurers to fully understand flood exposure globally. As support grows for moves within the industry towards data sharing and transparency, we are pleased to be a part of inhance.”

Gavin Lewis, ImageCat commercial director, said: “This is a real first for the insurance industry. Portfolios which have been improved using JBA’s Global Flood Map through inhance will produce better results when run against a cat model, and benefits flow through into pricing and risk selection, aggregation modelling, capital allocation, reinsurance and Solvency II compliance.”

JBA Risk Management, ImageCat, Floods, North America

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