24 October 2014 Insurance

Swiss Re releases winter storm model

Swiss Re has unveiled its new European winter storm model, which incorporates 140 years of historical data.

The first phase of the new model will be completed in August 2014, available for markets in Germany, Denmark, France, Benelux, the UK and Ireland. In August 2015 further markets will follow, such as the Nordics, Austria, Switzerland, Poland and the Baltic States.

The model is built on the Twentieth Century Reanalysis (20CR) data set which provides Swiss Re with a 140-year basis of historic storm activity.

Peter Zimmerli, head of atmospheric perils at Swiss Re, said: “The Swiss Re model has been in operation since the mid-90s when the old model was built. This model had reached the end of its lifetime so we made the decision two years ago to rebuild our European winter storm model from scratch.

“Before the launch of the 20CR data set, which became available as we were starting our project, reliable data sets only went back to the Second World War. Now we have 140 years of data. At the same time, the model is also special because we have increased the resolution in various areas.”

He added that the new model works at the highest resolution possible: the individual risk. Zimmerli said that Swiss Re reanalysed loss data it already had and interacted with clients and loss adjusters to learn more about the available loss data, thereby providing Swiss Re with the opportunity to increase resolution.

“In terms of geographical higher resolution, in the old model the Rhine Valley and the Black Forest were hardly visible in a gradient of risk. That has definitely changed. The new model is able to show these smaller features such as at the top of the Black Forest, wind speeds are higher, while in the valley the wind speed is much slower,” said Zimmerli.

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