NEWARK, Calif. - August 19, 2015 A decade after Hurricane Katrina caused $41 billion in property and casualty insurance losses, the most expensive catastrophe ever experienced by the global insurance industry, rising sea levels are driving up expected economic and insurance losses from hurricane-driven storm surge in coastal cities across the United States, according to new analysis by RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk management firm.
RMS assessed risk in six U.S. coastal cities to determine how losses from storm surge, defined as wind-driven coastal flooding, are expected to change through 2100.
By 2100, the sea-level rise near New Orleans is expected to be greater than 1.3 meters (4.3 feet), increasing the chance of catastrophic citywide flooding by more than four times unless further improvements are made to raise flood defences by an equivalent height.
“Looking forward, New Orleans is faced with a double-whammy. The land on which the city is built is sinking, even faster than the sea levels are rising,” said Dr. Robert Muir-Wood, chief research officer at RMS. “As a result, the rise in flood heights is much faster than at any other city along the U.S. coast.”
However, RMS analysis shows that, due to significant investments in improved flood defences and reduced exposures, the annual chance of a storm surge today causing at least $15 billion in economic loss – the amount caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 – is currently much lower in Orleans Parish than for cities such as Miami, New York and Tampa.
The study shows that currently, Tampa faces the highest risk among the six cities included in the study, with a 1-in-80 annual chance of experiencing a $15 billion storm surge loss. Miami faces a 1-in-125 chance, New York a 1-in-200 chance and New Orleans a 1-in-440 chance.
RMS models show those likelihoods are expected to increase greatly over time – by up to 350 percent in some cities by 2100. The chance of a storm surge event causing at least $15 billion in economic losses, using today’s dollar values and exposures, in 2100 rises to 1-in-30 in Tampa, 1-in-30 in Miami, 1-in-45 in New York and 1-in-315 in New Orleans.*
Chance that an event will cause at least $15 billion in economic losses from storm surge in a given year, according to RMS modeling. All dollar amounts are in 2015 dollars.
*Figures for New Orleans are calculated on the assumption that flood defences are raised in step with water levels.
Another way to demonstrate storm surge risk over time is to look at changing economic losses at the 100-year return period – the standard metric used by the global insurance industry to calculate the cost of risk.
According to RMS models, economic storm surge losses at the 100-year return period in New York are $9 billion today – meaning there is a one percent chance of at least that amount of losses occurring in a given year. By 2100, the figure more than doubles to $23 billion. For comparison, Superstorm Sandy in 2012 caused just over $15 billion in losses from storm surge in the city of New York.
Similarly large increases in 100-year return period surge losses were found for Tampa and Miami. There is a one percent chance that Tampa will experience at least $17 billion in economic storm surge losses this year. In 2100, that number rises to $25 billion. Miami’s 100-year surge losses rise from $13 billion today to $33 billion in 2100.
100-year return period storm surge losses – the economic loss that has a one percent chance of being exceeded in any given year – according to RMS modeling. All dollar amounts are in 2015 dollars.
“Hurricane Katrina was the first time in decades that more than 50 percent of losses from a hurricane resulted from storm surge,” said Muir-Wood. “Katrina can be seen as a milestone in the long-term shift from ‘wind’ to ‘water’ as the main driver of hurricane loss. In 2012, Superstorm Sandy had more than 60 percent of its losses caused by storm surge flooding.”
Due to sea-level rise, by 2100 storm surge is expected to generate more than half of the economic losses that result from hurricane in the U.S. across hurricane-exposed states.
“This analysis does not take into account the potential further impact of changes in hurricane frequency and severity that may also occur over this time, but for which there is as yet no scientific consensus,” said Muir-Wood.
Newark, CA – March 22, 2021 – RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk solutions company, today announced the forthcoming launch of a new suite of Climate Change Models to help customers assess the near and long term impacts of climate change on physical assets and their businesses, in order to make the best possible risk and financial decisions. According to RMS CEO, Karen White, “Today there are no robust or consistent frameworks that can quantify the physical risks posed by catastrophes in a changing climate at the depth required. The innovative suite of RMS Climate Change Models changes that, giving the market a powerful new set of tools. With increasing Board-level attention, stakeholder scrutiny, and regulatory pressure, businesses need to operationalize climate change analytics to make better decisions and enable better transparency. It is clear that the financial impacts of climate change are not solely a “future problem”. The increasing incidence of wildfires, floods and hurricanes mean that climate change insights need to be incorporated into financial decisions that are being made today, in parallel with long term strategic planning and meeting increasing regulatory, environmental, social and governance (ESG) and TCFD reporting requirements, and investor and customer demands. This necessitates a climate change framework and models fully consistent with today’s catastrophe risk analytics and one which addresses the challenges posed by physical climate change risk and its broad impact across all relevant time scales – from today through to the end of the century.” Most RMS models, including all major peril models, already incorporate the impact of climate change up until now – but more is required to meet the evolving and significant market needs. The new RMS Climate Change Models take our existing capabilities further with forward-looking predictive insights and analysis. The new Climate Change Models empower RMS’s economic modeling framework with the best climate science consensus, including from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The new models will be generally available in June for major peril models North Atlantic Hurricane, Europe Inland Flood and Europe Windstorm. Further models and geographies will follow this initial model suite launch. The RMS climate change solutions also include climate change specialist advisory and consulting expertise and regulatory, ESG and TCFD support. The Climate Change Models address the perils most impacted by climate change and feature: Probabilistic modeling to capture events across different climate change scenarios The ability to adjust time horizons and Representative Concentration Pathways (RCPs) A proprietary industry and economic exposure database to deliver more accurate and impactful climate change models Embeddable software which integrates into existing workflows to facilitate seamless and easy operationalization Consulting and additional expertise supporting regulatory submissions and activities, and providing insights from these new models today Commenting on the RMS climate change solutions, Eric Letourneau, SVP, Group Head of CAT Accumulation Management, QBE, said: “The insights on climate risk provided by RMS have enabled us to better understand climate-related risks and opportunities for our business, to report those insights to financial stakeholders, and to develop and test strategy for our business. We can embed these analytics in our business processes, confident that we have consistency with how we measure underwriting risk and capital requirements now and in the future.” The new RMS Climate Change Models, data, and analytics empower organizations to: Understand the impacts climate change may have on capital and assets today and in the future Price and manage risks to better reflect changing conditions Confidently communicate risks posed by climate change to all stakeholders Comply with regulatory submissions in an efficient and sustainable way RMS has been modeling natural catastrophe risk for the insurance industry for more than 30 years and has been leading research into the impact of climate change on catastrophic losses since RMS’s involvement in the 2007 4th IPCC Assessment Report. You can learn more about RMS Climate Change solutions here: https://www.rms.com/climate-change
NEWARK, Calif. – March 17, 2021 – RMS®, the world’s leading catastrophe risk solutions company, and TigerRisk Partners, the leading risk, capital, and strategic advisor to the global insurance and reinsurance industry, today announced the expansion of their partnership to include additional models and data in a new multiyear agreement. With this agreement, TigerRisk can now access the full RMS global natural catastrophe risk models suite. This includes RMS High Definition Models™ such as the RMS North America Wildfire HD Models, RMS Europe Flood HD Models, and RMS Europe Severe Convective Storm HD Models. This complements TigerRisk’s longstanding implementation of the RMS natural catastrophe view of risk in the U.S. on RMS RiskLink®. “We are committed to providing our clients with best-in-class solutions as they navigate this volatile risk landscape,” said Rod Fox, chief executive officer of TigerRisk. “Our clients depend on us to help them maintain a competitive edge, and it’s important we work alongside organizations that can help us support their needs. Our expanded partnership with RMS ensures that we can increase the value we bring to our clients and continue to deliver solutions for managing global risk profitably.” Karen White, chief executive officer of RMS, said, “TigerRisk Partners has established themselves as an innovative reinsurance broker and capital advisor firm in the market. As a valued partner of RMS for over a decade, their investment in analytics aimed at providing the best insights and services for their clients mirrors our commitment to the market. We look forward to continuing to support TigerRisk with the most trusted view of risk in the industry as they grow their business and enhance their services.”
Newark, CA – December 15, 2020 – RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk solutions company, estimates insured losses from the record-breaking western U.S. wildfires this season will be between US$7.0 and US$13.0 billion. These losses reflect estimates as of December 1, 2020 and represent an update from the previously estimated losses from fires up to September 20, 2020. The ignition of the highly damaging Glass Fire and additional spread of the CZU and LNU Complex Fires represent the most notable activity in California since September 20. RMS insured losses represent estimates from major wildfires in California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado at December 1, 2020: Region Insured Losses (USD $ bn) as of 1 December, 2020 Northern California Oregon and Washington Colorado 5.0 - 9.0 1.0 - 3.0 Up to 1.0 The RMS estimate includes losses from property damage, including evacuation and smoke damage, business interruption (BI), and additional living expenses (ALE) across residential, commercial, and industrial lines. Smoke and evacuation are expected to be significant contributors to losses for the wildfires this season, contributing about 20 percent of losses in California and Colorado and about 35 percent in Oregon and Washington. The estimate also accounts for notable post-event loss amplification (PLA) from property damage (25 to 30 percent) and business interruption/ALE (up to 100 percent or greater). The RMS loss estimate is based on detailed modeling of fire spread, ember accumulations, and smoke dispersion of the fires utilizing the U.S. Wildfire High-Definition (HD) Model, part of the North America Wildfire HD Model suite, released in February, 2019. The model covers the entire contiguous U.S. and explicitly simulates ember and smoke to support detailed analysis of the impact of a wildfire beyond historical fire perimeters. The model’s findings were supported by Damage Inspection Specialist (DINS) damage surveys for California Fires, published damage reports from federal and respective state agencies for the Oregon, Washington, and Colorado fires, and the RMS U.S. Wildfire Industry Exposure Database. Michael Young, Vice President, Product Management said: “2020 represents the most destructive fire season on record, in terms of burn area in California. Since August, 69 major fires that exceeded 1,000 burned acres each, have burned so far. Five of the six largest ever California wildfires have occurred in 2020, with over 4.4 million acres burned in total to date. While fires earlier in the season were dominated by ignitions sparked by the intense lightning storm in August, extreme wind-driven fires dominated the last few months. A similar phenomenon resulted in record-breaking fires in Oregon as well this season, with over 20 major fires driven by extreme winds, burning more than 1.2 million acres so far. In October, Colorado experienced its three largest destructive fires with more than 24 major fires burning 850,000 acres in total. Rajkiran Vojjala, Vice President, Model Development said: “This wildfire season reaffirms the growing catastrophic nature of this peril. Wildfire risk is clearly evolving, not only in California, but also in other states, as we observed in Oregon and Colorado. While changing climate patterns have significantly influenced the record-breaking fires this season, several other factors also profoundly affected the ignition potential and expected losses from these events in different ways. Most notable amongst them are the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) measures undertaken by utilities, preparedness and response of firefighters in Northern California despite COVID-19 challenges, and recent legislative actions governing wildfire claims settlement such as the California Senate Bill 872. RMS is currently engaged with various stakeholders in evaluating these factors and understanding their impact on the emerging risk profile of this peril as part of its wildfire modeling agenda.” END The technology and data used in providing this information is based on the scientific data, mathematical and empirical models, and encoded experience of scientists and specialists. As with any model of physical systems, particularly those with low frequencies of occurrence and potentially high severity outcomes, the actual losses from catastrophic events may differ from the results of simulation analyses. RMS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL RESPONSIBILITIES, OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THE INFORMATION OR USE THEREOF, INCLUDING ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL RMS (OR ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARY, OR OTHER AFFILIATED COMPANIES) BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS INFORMATION OR USE THEREOF.