Why is the Verisk wind algorithm better for property claims and underwriting?

By William Ramstrom October 30, 2015


More than one million wind claims occur annually in the U.S. from nontropical windstorms. This makes wind one of the largest weather-related risks for commercial and personal property and auto insurers.

Verisk’s updated wind algorithm improves upon the capability that insurers have used for more than two years. Verisk was the first provider to integrate comprehensive wind data into insurers’ workflows and to provide on-demand and automated wind reports for each property location.

What makes the wind algorithm better?

The improved wind algorithm increases the correlation of wind data with damage reports and insurance claims by incorporating wind gust speeds from multiple sources of weather data. The wind field calculations combine Verisk’s proprietary radar-based analysis of downbursts from severe thunderstorms with wind speed data from National Weather Service observing stations. The analysis takes into account the land surface properties such as urbanized areas, trees and grasslands. The algorithm is validated with Verisk’s extensive database of industry claims.

Bill Ramstrom

William Ramstrom provides science and software engineering leadership for products for insurers affected by climate and weather risks. Bill works on hurricane forecasting, numerical weather prediction, and radar processing. Bill designed the Respond™ service for tropical storms, hail, and straight-line winds and manages the Blackout Risk Model™. He’s had extensive experience with WRF model simulations and radar data assimilation methods and also served as operational weather forecaster for several airlines. He has a BS in Computer Science, and an MS in Atmospheric Science, both from MIT. His thesis work involved measuring air-sea fluxes of heat, moisture, and momentum in hurricanes using GPS dropsonde data.