BOSTON, July 14, 2015 — Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR) announced today that it has expanded its suite of models for Canada with the release of Winter Storm and Tropical Cyclone models. In addition, comprehensive updates have been made to the hazard and engineering components of the Canada Severe Thunderstorm Model. Together, these models provide a more complete view of atmospheric peril risk and account for insurance policy conditions specific to Canada. AIR Worldwide is a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.
“AIR is committed to providing the Canadian market with the most advanced tools for assessing potential insured losses from natural catastrophes that affect the entire insurance and risk transfer value chain,” said Rob Newbold, senior vice president of business development and consulting and client services, AIR Worldwide. “Following our work with Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), which resulted in the release of our Canada Earthquake Model last year, this expanded suite of atmospheric models demonstrates our commitment to the region and to helping the industry better manage and assess the risk from these perils.”
Winter storms affect most of Canada, and AIR’s new model better captures the effects of damaging winds, winter precipitation (snow, ice pellets, and freezing rain), and freezing temperatures found there. The model includes different manifestations of winter storms across the region, such as high winds and heavy snowfalls in the west, strong winds over the prairies, ice storms in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Lowlands, and nor’easters in the Maritime provinces. The model also includes indirect damage mechanisms, such as ice damming and subsequent water infiltration into roofs, and ice loading that leads to falling trees and utility lines.
Updates to the AIR Severe Thunderstorm Model account for the losses incurred by straight-line winds, hail, and tornadoes on insured properties. The model simulates daily convective storm activity, thereby better allowing for the capture of both small and large loss events. Damage functions for the Canada Severe Thunderstorm, Winter Storm and Tropical Cyclone models are informed by a comprehensive study of the evolution of building codes across Canada and leverage the latest research from the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel at Western University in Ontario; the Wind Engineering, Energy, and Environment Research Institute (WindEEE); the tornado simulator at Iowa State University; the Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes (IRLBH); and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS). In addition to residential, commercial, and auto lines of business, damage functions have been developed for large, complex industrial facilities using a component-based engineering approach.
The new Tropical Cyclone Model for Canada effectively captures the effects of damaging winds on insured properties in seven Canadian provinces. While tropical cyclones often weaken as they track north to Canada, the risk is not insignificant, as storms at these latitudes typically grow in size as they adopt extratropical characteristics and are faster moving. Wind intensity computations in this new model are based on a storm’s central pressure, size, forward speed, and direction. The interaction of the storm with the underlying terrain and land cover is also considered in order to more properly calculate damage to onshore properties.
“[AIR’s] effort begins to fill a gap in Canada for consistent, physically anchored models that act to provide guidance on the impact and risks of major natural disasters,” said Dr. Ronald Stewart, a University of Manitoba professor who peer-reviewed the models.
To certify the reliability of the vulnerability module in each of AIR’s atmospheric perils models for Canada, AIR scientists and researchers worked closely with regional experts and utilized local data sources, such as Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC), Institute for Catastrophe Loss Reduction (ICLR), and Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel at Western Ontario.
The Severe Thunderstorm, Winter Storm, and Tropical Cyclone models for Canada are currently available in the Touchstone® 3.0 and CATRADER® 17 catastrophe risk management systems.
About AIR Worldwide
AIR Worldwide (AIR) is the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services. AIR founded the catastrophe modeling industry in 1987 and today models the risk from natural catastrophes and terrorism in more than 90 countries. More than 400 insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate, and government clients rely on AIR software and services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, detailed site-specific wind and seismic engineering analyses, and agricultural risk management. AIR Worldwide, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, is headquartered in Boston with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit www.air-worldwide.com.