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Impact Forecasting launches new cat modelling platform, including new flood models for Canada


July 12, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter


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Impact Forecasting announced on Tuesday that it has launched ELEMENTS 10, its complete catastrophe modelling platform, which includes new flood models for Canada.3D model of a flooded house

ELEMENTS 10 offers the ability to run insurers’ own or third-party model, plus access to new flood models for Canada, the United States, Malaysia and Poland, Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s cat model development centre of excellence, said in a statement. For example, Impact Forecasting models are being used on other platforms, including ImageCat, Spatial Key and Opta, with the latter “incorporating Canada flood data into its iClarify tool to improve underwriting.” Modellers can also now access flood models from Ambiental, JBA and SSBN or UCL’s tsunami model.

“ELEMENTS 10 gives modellers the flexibility to import various formats, run any implemented third party model, actively manage accumulations, quantify uncertainty and even provide insights for underwriting colleagues – all on one platform,” Impact Forecasting said in the statement. The platform further allows the “ability to use an insurer’s own loss data to customize various model components to extensive reporting capabilities to communicate results to senior management and regulators.”

According to information from Aon Benfield, the Canada Flood Model “covers a geographical area representing 98% of the Canadian population.” It offers a complete view of Canadian flood risk, including individual location level underwriting, portfolio/accumulation management, structuring reinsurance protections and fulfilling regulatory/rating agency requirements.

“Transparency through ELEMENTS’s open platform allows management and underwriters a better understanding of flood risk and how model components impact calculated results (e.g. differentiation of fluvial versus off-flood plain flood losses and effect of flood defences),” the information stated. The flood model also incorporates “essential Canadian hazard content, including local sources of spatial (GeoBase government initiative) and hydrological (Environment Canada and Le Centre d’expertise hydrique du Quebec) data.”

Additional features of the ELEMENTS 10 platform include:

  • The expansion of the U.S. river flood model for pluvial risk, in addition to updating the fluvial and the storm surge risks. The coverage of the European windstorm model has extended to Austria and the Scandinavian countries and to include forestry;
  • Enabling catastrophe modellers to run any model Impact Forecasting or third party, in the Impact Forecasting or in the Oasis hazard and vulnerability files format. Furthermore, additional enhancements to the way flood models are implemented using the Oasis model files have led to a significant reduction in space requirements;
  • ELEMENTS Explorer has expanded to provide basic model and uncertainty documentation as well as direct access to most frequently used queries, with the overall goal to aid the needs of internal and regulatory reporting. Most components of Explorer have also been included in the main ELEMENTS client software, making the access to the tools more streamlined;
  • New insights for accumulation control and per policy calculation to support underwriting;
  • Ability to run ELEMENTS in-house or on the cloud; and
  • Up to 40% improved performance through Dynamic Core allocation, plus an improved graphical user interface.

“We are taking collaboration to the next level and empowering catastrophe modellers to have complete control over the process from start to finish – in addition to providing a wide model selection,” said Adam Podlaha, global head of Impact Forecasting, in the statement. “Having pioneered transparent modelling back in 1995, we are continuously building upon this to bring additional possibilities to modellers. Now Impact Forecasting has gone a step further with the evolution of traditional modelling for reinsurance to underwriting, new product development and automated accumulation control.”