(California wildfire. Source: Bureau of Land Management.)
Verisk Insurance Solutions (Jersey City, N.J.) has added Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to its FireLine wildfire risk management service. Verisk’s FireLine provides detailed current information enabling the analysis of wildfire risk at the individual address level. FireLine is now available in 13 states.
“Even though it’s difficult to predict precisely when and where wildfires will strike, insurers can better manage risk by knowing the relative wildfire risk of properties they insure,” comments Steve Lekas, VP of property underwriting products at Verisk Insurance Solutions. “FireLine helps insurers manage wildfire risk at individual risk and aggregate risk levels, and several state departments of insurance have acknowledged use of FireLine scores in segmenting pricing.”
FireLine uses advanced satellite data to assess the effects of the three primary factors that contribute to wildfire risk: fuel, slope, and road access, according to a Verisk statement. Fuel represents the vegetation surrounding the property, slope refers to the grade of the land upon which the property is built, and road access identifies potential barriers for firefighters to protect the property. For each address, FireLine provides a score for each primary risk factor and an overall wildfire hazard score.
According to a FireLine wildfire risk analysis, at least 30 percent of all households in Oklahoma and Wyoming are at moderate to high risk of wildfire losses. Over 50 percent of residents of Montana are at the same level of risk.
“Working closely with insurers, we recognized the need to bring our leadership in satellite sensing and weather technologies to wildfire risk assessment in these new states,” comments Arindam Samanta, senior manager of underwriting products and analytics, Verisk Climate.
FireLine data is used to produce state wildfire risk reports—a summary of the number of households exposed to wildfire risk—for the three new states, Montana, Oklahoma and Wyoming, as well as for the ten original states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. The 2015 reports for all 13 FireLine states are expected to be publicly available later in May. The solution is part of the vendor’s LOCATION suite of property products that provides what Verisk describes as accurate, essential data on every U.S. property to help insurers assess risk effectively and make sound underwriting decisions.