AIR Worldwide Releases Severe Thunderstorm Model for Europe

The model captures the effects of straight-line winds and hail, enabling companies to assess their risk from the local scale to the macro level on insured properties, in 22 countries.

(Storm in Zeeland, Netherlands. Photo credit: Klankbeeld.)

AIR Worldwide, a global catastrophe risk modeling firm, has announced that it has released a new thunderstorm model for Europe. The AIR Severe Thunderstorm Model for Europe captures the effects of straight-line winds and hail, enabling companies to assess their risk from the local scale to the macro level on insured properties, including residential, commercial, automobiles, and specialty lines of business—in 22 countries. Calling the new model “state-of-the-art” AIR says that in combination with its Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe and European flood models, this new model now allows for a comprehensive assessment of atmospheric risk in this region.

“Though typically associated with the summer months, severe thunderstorms can strike Europe at any time of the year, and their loss potential is increasing,” comments Eric Robinson, manager and principal scientist, AIR Worldwide. “A severe thunderstorm event can, over the course of several days, produce multiple outbreaks. Depending upon the region, high-frequency severe thunderstorms can contribute up to 50 percent to overall wind-related insured losses in Europe.”

AIR says that the severe thunderstorm model realistically simulates the highly localized effects of individual hail and straight-line winds (microevents)—from a meteorological perspective the key drivers of loss from severe thunderstorms—and the spatial extent of macroevents (combinations of microevents). This is achieved by replicating daily activity based on a comprehensive analysis of historical storm outbreaks. The vendor reports that the model reflects emerging scientific and engineering research and leverages data from many sources, including storm report databases, numerical weather prediction, and an unprecedented amount of radar data from recent events. To validate the model, AIR says it used a large set of claims data, including detailed claims from some of the largest insurers in Europe.

Meeting the Wide Spectrum of Severe Thunderstorm Risk Management

“Because of the localized nature of individual hailstorms and straight-line winds as well as potential for major outbreaks affecting the ever-changing built environment, using historical losses for risk assessment and management is not sufficient,” comments Cagdas Kafali, senior VP, research and modeling, AIR Worldwide. “The model was built to meet the wide spectrum of severe thunderstorm risk management needs of all stakeholders, including the insurance and reinsurance industry, and accounts for insurance policy conditions specific to each modeled country.”

Cagdas Kafali, senior VP, research and modeling, AIR Worldwide.

AIR announced that it has also updated its Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe, including the expansion of the model domain covering a total of 22 countries. The updated model includes support for several new risk types, including large industrial facilities, wind turbines, marine cargo, and builder’s risk. The AIR Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe also features a new stochastic event set, updated hazard and vulnerability modules, and industry exposure databases.

Help to Identify Opportunities for Growth

“Used in concert, the AIR Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe, the AIR Inland Flood Model for Europe, and the new severe thunderstorm model provide a comprehensive view of atmospheric peril risk for effective risk management,” Kafali adds. “Together, they can help insurers identify opportunities for growth and make more informed underwriting decisions. Reinsurers also benefit from this toolkit, which enables them to better understand and effectively price the risk that they may be assuming on their books.”

The AIR Severe Thunderstorm Model for Europe and the AIR Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe are currently available in the Touchstone and CATRADER catastrophe risk management systems.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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