May 26, 2016 by Canadian Underwriter
Verisk Insurance Solutions announced on Thursday that it is expanding its FireLine wildfire risk management service to include the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.
FireLine, which is well-established in the western United States, enables property-specific assessment of wildfire risk that insurers use for underwriting, rating and exposure management purposes, Verisk Insurance Solutions explained in a press release.
“The Fort McMurray fire and other recent fires, including the 2011 Slave Lake fire in Alberta and the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park fire in British Columbia, are stark reminders that Western Canada is at an elevated risk for wildfires with the potential to cause large insurance losses,” said Roch Lacroix, director of Canadian operations for Verisk Insurance Solutions, in the release. “In the United States, FireLine has long been used by insurers to understand the potential level of wildfire risk for each property to help them underwrite and price the risk. Now, Canadian insurers have access to the same insights with the ability to integrate FireLine with their own data for a customized risk management approach.”
FireLine uses advanced satellite data to assess the impact of three primary contributors to wildfire risk: fuel, slope, and road access. Fuel represents the vegetation surrounding the property; slope is the grade of land upon which the property is built; and road access identifies potential barriers for firefighters. For every address it covers, FireLine gives a score for each primary risk factor and an overall wildfire hazard score, Verisk Insurance Solutions explained.
“Our analysis of the recent Fort McMurray fire is an example of how Canadian insurers can benefit from FireLine,” said Dr. Arindam Samanta, director of product management and innovation for Verisk Insurance Solutions, in the release. “It showed that 88% of the land burned by the fire was at high or extreme risk from wildfire. This information is critical for effective wildfire risk management.”
Dr. Samanta added in a blog post that in the Fort McMurray fire, the FireLine analysis of vegetation showed that the area within the fire perimeter was identified as wildland fuels. “Verisk combined this information with detailed analytics on other risk factors, such as topography and road networks, and identified that more than 99% of the area was at risk, with 88% at high or extreme risk,” Dr. Samanta wrote.
A Verisk Analytics business, Verisk Insurance Solutions is a source of information about P&C insurance risk. Drawing upon unique data assets and deep domain expertise to provide innovative solutions that are integrated into customer workflows, Verisk Insurance Solutions includes the brands of ISO, AIR Worldwide, and Xactware.