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Impact Forecasting : new scenario models for Superstorm Sandy, Thailand flood, Japan tsunami and European windstorm

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Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development center of excellence at Aon Benfield, has launched a suite of new scenario models to generate loss estimates for specific historic or hypothetical events. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).

Loss estimates for events such as the storm surge by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, the 2011 Thailand floods, and the highest insured loss European windstorm, Kyrill (2007), can now be calculated to gauge the financial impact of their potential reoccurrence.

Equally, scenarios can be generated for possible future events, for example, based on maximum possible magnitudes of a flood or earthquake. The scenarios are generated by integrating footprints (maps highlighting the extent of the area affected at a given intensity) from either Impact Forecasting, insurers and reinsurers or third party organisations such as PERILS.

The scenario models enable insurers and reinsurers to validate existing probabilistic models and examine specific events in territories where no models currently exist. In addition, firms can monitor exposure in key areas and provide more detailed information for reinsurance purchase and claims management.

Available through ELEMENTS 7, Impact Forecasting’s loss calculation platform, footprints already available for key peril and regional hotspots include:

– US: Superstorm Sandy storm surge footprints by Impact Forecasting (developed by the SLOSH model) and PERILS (produced by SERTIT). In addition, footprints are available for hurricanes Katrina and Ike

– Japan: 15 event scenarios for tsunami, based on events defined by the Japanese government and USGS

– Europe: PERILS windstorm scenario events for Klaus, Xynthia, Joachim and Andrea (produced by the MeteoSuisse, German Weather Service (COSMO-EU) and EuroTempest)

– Flood: Thailand (2011), Switzerland (2000, 2005, 2007), Slovakia (2010), Austria (2002, 2005), Poland (2010)

– Storm Surge flood: Netherlands (1953), Germany (1962, 1976, 1994, 1995, 1999)

– Earthquake: Morocco (Agadir 1960, Al_Hoceima 1994, 2004), Algeria (Boumerdes 2003, Djidjelli 1856, El Asnam 1980), Turkey (Erzincan 1939, Kocaeli 1999, Sultandagi 2002, Van 2011), Israel (Galilee 1837, Safed 1927, Red Sea 1995, Dead Sea 2004) and Kazakhstan (Almaty 1911)

Steve Jakubowski, President of Impact Forecasting, said: “Any insurer or reinsurer Impact Forecasting licensee can use ELEMENTS with any event footprint to estimate scenario losses. The ELEMENTS platform unlocks the full potential of event footprints to estimate losses, computing in minutes work that would take hours to complete using Geographical Information Systems and databases.”

Adam Podlaha, international head of Impact Forecasting, added: “ELEMENTS not only runs Impact Forecasting models but, as a completely universal catastrophe modelling platform, can run any model or any footprint for any peril or territory. This is what differentiates ELEMENTS from other tools in the market.”