How Ambiental aids informed decision-making around flood risk for insurers and risk managers

In News by ambrisk

How Ambiental aids informed decision-making
around flood risk for insurers and risk managers

Justin Butler, CEO of Ambiental, at Ambiental’s Flood Re Business Breakfast for Insurers and Reinsurers

The UK has just born the brunt of yet another storm (Storm Imogen) and once again had to be prepared for the onslaught of floodwater. In this final blog in our series from our breakfast event at Lloyds, we take a look at how Ambiental is shaping flood risk decisions, not just at home, but across the world.

Whether the result of the ingress of coastal water; the flash flooding of rivers in spate; or as the product of run-off from impermeable surfaces, flooding is a natural phenomenon that is rapidly becoming the ‘new normal’. The rap sheet of destruction caused by UK flood events of recent years seems almost endless; in 2007, 55,000 homes across the UK flooded, causing thirteen fatalities, and leaving an estimated £3 billion worth of damage. 2009 brought the worst flooding seen in Cumbria for 55 years, killing four, and causing around £100 million in damage. 2012 saw the wettest summer in 100 years, the loss of nine lives, and over £1 billion of damage. And it seems that as 2016 faces up to yet another storm and its resulting disruption, the record remains unchanged.

[ Watch the video of Justin’s speech at the Flood Re Breakfast Event ]

The recurrence, and impacts, of widespread flooding serve to highlight the importance of decision support tools, such as those offered by Ambiental, in mitigating flood risk. UKFloodMap4™ is a precision tool offered by Ambiental, which is specifically designed for managing flood risk. The software uses the most up to date flood data for the United Kingdom, providing precise and accessible flood risk information for the whole country.

Aimed primarily at helping insurance underwriters, planners, and emergency response teams make informed decisions about flood risk, UKFloodMap4™ pinpoints an estimate of flood depth and water velocity, accurate even down to the individual building level. By utilising high resolution topographic information combined, where possible, with light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data, this product looks at all of the major sources of flooding, and a variety of return periods to accurately determine flood risk. In order to maintain the accuracy of predictions, UKFloodMap4™ is regularly calibrated against real-time flood events, validating the flood model by showing a remarkable correlation between predictions and the resulting events.

In much the same way, FloodScore™ can instantly assess flood risk to individual properties. Delivered as a cost-effective online flood risk ‘checking’ service or via API, it provides instant access to flood risk scores for properties across the whole of the UK. Utilising OS AddressBase products, and integrating the most up-to-date flood and building stock data available, FloodScore TM enables businesses to search for individual addresses, quickly evaluating and quantifying flood risk and average annual loss (AAL) values. Taking into account the probability of flooding due to rainfall, tidal surges, and rivers overtopping their banks, this product classifies risk into a single, easy-to-use flood score; which may be quantified as negligible, minimal, moderate, high or extreme.

Alongside flood modelling solutions, Ambiental also offers a range of CAT modelling products; using computer-assisted calculations to predict the financial losses sustained during any catastrophic event. These flexible models are specially designed to give both asset and risk managers accurate data about exposure in the event of a catastrophic flood; and enable rapid assessment of portfolio-wide risk. This allows for more informed decision-making around allocation of capital, and may help with the decision of whether or not to cede particular properties to Flood Re. Not only can the model be used to predict losses based on historical events, Ambiental’s CAT modelling service may be used to run realistic synthetic event sets, allowing users to chose the perils, regions and level of aggregation required, and tailoring the product to their individual needs.

Speaking at December’s successful breakfast event, Justin Butler, CEO of Ambiental, said: “There are a number of challenges with the introduction of Flood Re, for example in terms of ceding strategies, which risks should be passed over to the reinsurance pool; so one thing we are really focussing on at Ambiental is to provide insurers with the data and tools they need to implement their strategies.”

To find out more about how Ambiental’s flood risk analysis and modelling products can aid the insurance industry in the decision making process surrounding ceding to Flood Re, call Mark Nunns on 0203 857 8543 or email  [email protected]

About the Author

Sarah Gaunt is a freelance writer, and is responsible for producing blogs and news updates on behalf of Ambiental. With a background in natural sciences, Sarah has produced features and podcasts for a variety of press offices, and has published articles in several online and print magazines.

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