FEMA Selects AIR Worldwide’s Flood Model to Better Understand NFIP’s Risk

The model will also be used to help the NFIP evaluate actuarially sound rates for its policies and to assess the impacts of major flooding events in real time.

(Photo credit: Bill Koplitz/FEMA.)

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has selected catastrophe modeler AIR Worldwide’s (Boston) innovative Inland Flood and Storm Surge Models for the United States to better understand the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) loss potential, according to a vendor announcement.

Rob Newbold, EVP, AIR Worldwide.

In licensing the AIR flood model, FEMA is leveraging a probabilistic modeling approach to assess the flood program’s overall risk and potential payouts to property owners, AIR reports. The model will also be used to help the NFIP evaluate actuarially sound rates for its policies and to assess the impacts of major flooding events in real time, the vendor says.

“AIR is looking forward to assisting FEMA in its efforts to create safer, more resilient communities by reducing loss of life and property and lessen the financial impact of disasters on the nation,” comments Rob Newbold, executive VP, AIR Worldwide. “Our models and software will help FEMA understand the NFIP’s exposure to flood loss, which will not only help evaluate effective insurance and risk-transfer alternatives but also assess potential damage and losses as floods occur.”

AIR released its U.S. Flood Model in 2014 and says it provides the most detailed probabilistic tool available for assessing and managing inland flood risk at high resolution for locations on and off the many and varied river networks and floodplains across the United States. Insurance companies use AIR’s inland flood model to offer flood insurance products in the private market.

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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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