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Ice, Fire, Wind, and Water

A whitepaper series from Verisk

Sophisticated sources of data can help (re)insurers gain competitive advantages in the market

An innovative data provider—using proprietary algorithms, scientifically derived weather and climate models, and the complementary expertise of specialized partners—could be the difference maker that helps a (re)insurer navigate a turbulent and changing climate.

Key perils to watch

Key Perils Icon

Natural hazards are increasing in frequency and severity. Insurers should ask themselves three key questions while managing peril risk across:

  • Hail and severe thunderstorm
  • Wildfire
  • Hurricane, flooding, and storm surge
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Keep pace with changing risk amid climate-driven growth of natural hazards

This Ice, Fire, Wind, Water report series examines recent activity, trends, and data-driven tools to help (re)insurers and communities better measure and mitigate risk three categories of hazards.

Issue 1: Hail and severe thunderstorm risk

Issue 1 Hail And Severe Thunderstorm Risk

Severe thunderstorms, which can be accompanied by destructive hail, are among the most common and damaging natural disasters in the United States, accounting for more than half of annual reported insured losses since 1985.

In addition to understanding the hail peril, explore the exposure at risk.

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6.8M+ U.S. properties had at least one damaging hail event in 2021.

Issue 2 Wildfire Risk And Mitigation

Issue 2: Wildfire risk and mitigation

Managing wildfire risk has grown rapidly as a priority for insurers operating in states exposed to this peril.

Rising temperatures, extreme droughts, and altered precipitation patterns extend wildfire “seasons” to virtually year-round. And emerging regulatory compliance adds increasing complexity to the mix.

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Nearly 3.3 million U.S. properties are at high to extreme risk for wildfire, with over 1.7 million of these addresses in California.

Issue 3: Hurricane and flooding risk

Issue 3 Hurricane And Flood Risk

Few natural hazards exhibit as close a connection to climate change as hurricanes. In the post-industrial age, rising CO2 levels are warming the atmosphere and oceans, allowing more tropical cyclones to develop and strengthen into powerful hurricanes. The poles are warming faster than the equator, which is expected to weaken the jet stream and reduce vertical wind shear, creating more favorable conditions for these storms

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More than 11.9M U.S. properties are at severe to extreme risk for flood.

Issue 4 Stay Prepared

Issue 4: Stay Prepared Ahead of Rising Disasters

U.S. property/casualty insurers paid an estimated $176 billion in natural catastrophe claims in 2020 and 2021, and while losses have been increasing over the last 4 years, examining a longer time period reveals considerable variability in year over year losses. Insurers must have current, actionable data up front to help guide underwriting and pricing and keep all policyholders appropriately protected.

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Detailed peril analytics to help you understand and manage risk

Verisk provides detailed analytics of weather, climate, and environmental perils to help you understand and manage risk, better allocate field staff, improve customer satisfaction, shorten workflow cycles, and support profitability.


Weather Teaser

Severe thunderstorms and hail: Concentrated events that pack a punch

Severe thunderstorms are a common natural phenomenon in the US, causing more than half of annual reported insured losses since 1985.

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Climate Change Hurricane Teaser

Will climate change lead to more hurricanes?

Verisk’s Climate Change Projections help organizations investigate how loss metrics such as average annual losses (AALs) and return period may change in the future.

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Best practices for underwriting natural catastrophe risk

Taking into consideration the nuances of the property you’re insuring can help you take charge of multifaceted risk factors.

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Wildfire Wineries

How wildfire activity is affecting Northern California for the long haul

With the wine industry estimating over $3 billion in losses due to these fire events, the spotlight on wildfire risk in Northern California remains as acute as ever.

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