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NEWARK, Calif. - February 14, 2019  RMS, the world’s leading risk modeling and analytics firm, announces the release of the RMS U.S. Wildfire High Definition (HD) Model, the most comprehensive solution available for addressing wildfire risk across the Contiguous United States (48 States). Since 2014, devastating wildfires have unleashed more than USD $30 billion in claims and five of the 10 most destructive wildfires ever have occurred in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Severe wildfires have become more prevalent and recent events have demonstrated the critical need for more advanced tools, more granular analytics, and broader geographic coverage in today’s risk modeling solutions.

Until now, the industry has relied on inadequate zoning and mapping products to evaluate wildfire risk. Recent cat events have highlighted many deficiencies in these tools, including the failure to account for structural vulnerabilities, the inability to highlight areas susceptible to urban conflagrations, the coarse resolution, and the lack of probabilistic insight.

The RMS U.S. Wildfire HD Model, part of the RMS Wildfire HD Model Suite, captures the full impact of wildfire at high resolution to enable an unprecedented understanding of the complex behaviors that characterize fire spread, ember accumulation, and smoke dispersion. Simulating over 18 million wildfires across the contiguous U.S., the U.S. Wildfire Model enables users to have more granular and comprehensive approach to underwriting and portfolio management.

“The past five years have demonstrated that the industry needs better ways to manage their wildfire risk comprehensively: for underwriting, for reinsurance purchasing, and for capital management, ” said Chris Folkman, Senior Director of Product Management at RMS, “After three consecutive seasons with major cat events, it’s clear that wildfire needs to be treated more like a peak peril and less like a simple matter of attritional loss. Wildfire risk has a steep gradient, where different houses in the same neighborhood can have drastically different risk profiles. We’re confident our analytics can equip property writers to price, underwrite, and deploy capital with precision – for any Contiguous U.S. location.”

To build the model, RMS partnered with top insurers, mitigation experts, and government agencies to ensure that the model’s data, calibration, and scope addresses market gaps. This includes hundreds of millions of dollars of granular claims data informing the calibration of 13 site-level adjustment features, as well as explicit simulation of ember travel that goes beyond traditional fuel-cased fire techniques.

Anne D. Cope, Ph.D., P.E., Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Chief Engineer said, “IBHS is proud to have partnered with RMS in their development of a wildfire solution that includes relevant risk factors like explicit ember modeling while also capturing the latest data from the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons. The RMS Wildfire model is an important tool towards ensuring that wildfire risk can be confidently understood across the (re)insurance industry.”

Anneliese Jivan, President of The California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (“FAIR”) Plan stated, "With the increasing number of severe wildfires in the U.S., understanding the impact of fire mitigation has never been more important. We're hopeful that our collaboration with RMS in the development of their wildfire model will enable better industry data collection practices and a more active focus on home fire safety."

To learn more about the RMS approach to wildfire risk management, click here.

 

Related Resources
September 24, 2020
RMS Estimates that Total U.S. Insured Losses from Hurricane Sally Will Be Between US$2bn – US$3.5bn

Newark, CA – September 24, 2020 – RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk solutions company, estimates that total U.S. insured losses from Hurricane Sally will be between US$2.0 and US$3.5 billion. The estimate includes losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of between US$400m and US$800m. U.S. insured loss estimates for Hurricane Sally (US$ billions): Wind & Surge Inland Flood NFIP Total 1.3 - 2.3  0.3 - 0.4 0.4 - 0.8 2.0 - 3.5 “Sally made landfall with much stronger winds than expected. While it weakened considerably as it moved inland, the slow-moving nature of the storm brought persistent wind and storm surge to much of the Gulf coastline, combined with heavy rainfall and widespread flooding to interior regions. Sally is another example of how hurricane damage can take many different forms”, said Jeff Waters, senior product manager, RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models.  This estimate includes wind, storm surge, and inland flood losses across parts of the Gulf and Florida regions, based on analysis of RMS ensemble footprints in Version 18.1 of the RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models and estimates from the RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model. RMS ensemble footprints are reconstructions of Sally’s hazards that capture the uncertainties surrounding observed wind speeds and storm surge. Losses reflect property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business. Estimates include post-event loss amplification (PLA) and non-modeled sources of loss. RMS expects the majority of insured losses will impact residential lines. The estimate also includes losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which RMS expects to reach US$400 million to US$800 million. NFIP losses were derived using an RMS view of NFIP exposure based on the 2019 policy-in-force data published by FEMA, the Version 18.1 North Atlantic Hurricane Models, and the U.S. Inland Flood HD Model. “We expect Sally to be a sizable event for the NFIP. The majority of NFIP take-up occurs in coastal counties, especially in the states most impacted by the hurricane, notably Alabama and Florida. However, the inland extent of heavy rainfall from this event means we’ll likely see NFIP losses stemming from inland flood as well,” said Rajkiran Vojjala, Vice President, Model Development.  Sally made landfall near Gulf Shores, Alabama on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 as a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. At landfall, Sally produced sustained winds of 105 mph (170 km/h), according to the National Hurricane Center. Informed by a suite of real-time observational data sources, RMS HWind products estimated comparable winds at and just after landfall. The landfall location was also well-forecast by the HWind forecasting products. “In the days leading up to landfall, our HWind forecasts consistently provided clients with scenarios indicating a potential Alabama landfall location, even prior to the NHC official forecasts trending east away from New Orleans. This event is another strong validation point in demonstrating the predictive value of these products,” said Pete Dailey, Vice President, Model Development. In the 24-36 hours following landfall, Sally weakened quickly as it tracked further inland into Georgia and parts of the Carolinas, before being downgraded to a “remnant low” on September 17. Hurricane Sally was the eighteenth named storm of the 2020 North Atlantic hurricane season, the seventh hurricane, and the fourth U.S. landfalling hurricane of this very active season. Sally is the eighth named storm to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. so far in 2020, a new record for U.S. landfall activity as of mid-September. RMS industry loss estimates for landfalling U.S. hurricanes are comprehensive, reflecting modeled and non-modeled impacts from all major drivers of damage, including wind, storm surge, and inland flooding.   ENDS The technology and data used in providing the information contained in this press release are 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 CONTENTS OF THIS 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. …

September 22, 2020
RMS Estimates Insurance Losses from Western U.S. Wildfires to Be Between US$4bn and US$8bn

NEWARK, Calif. – September 22, 2020 – RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk company estimates insured losses for the Western U.S. will be between US$4.0 and US$8.0 billion. These losses reflect estimates as of September 20, 2020, and further escalation in losses are likely as many fires are still ongoing in California, Oregon, and Washington. RMS estimates insured losses from major wildfires in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington as follows (US$ billions): Regions Insured Losses as of September 20, 2020 Northern California 3.0 - 5.0 Oregon & Washington 1.0 - 3.0 Wildfires in the Western U.S. have led to over four million acres burned so far (2.5 million in Northern California and over 1.5 million in Oregon and Washington) and over 13,500 structures damaged or destroyed as of September 20, 2020. Michael Young, Vice President, Product Management said: “While this season is exceptionally noteworthy on many fronts, I want to highlight a silver lining: 30 to 60 percent of structures in many of these mega complex footprints actually survived the fire. This is because building science has identified many factors that increase the survivability of structures such as wildfire-resistant vents. We need to find bold ways to duplicate those measures at scale. If this is the new normal, we can’t afford not to embrace effective steps towards mitigation.” RMS estimates include losses from property damage, including evacuation and smoke damage, business interruption (BI) across residential, commercial, industrial lines, and additional living expenses (ALE). Smoke and evacuation are significant contributors to losses during the ongoing Western U.S. wildfires, contributing about 20 percent of losses in Northern California fires and about 35 percent in Oregon and Washington fires, respectively. The RMS loss estimate is based on detailed modeling of fire spread, ember accumulations, and smoke dispersion of the fires utilizing the RMS U.S. Wildfire HD Model, part of the suite of RMS North America Wildfire High-Definition (HD) Models, released in February 2019. The model covers the 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 for Oregon and Washington fires, and the RMS U.S. Wildfire Industry Exposure Database. As many major fires are still active in these states, additional increases in loss are possible. Learn more about the RMS North America Wildfire HD Model here. ENDS The technology and data used in providing the information contained in this press release are 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 CONTENTS OF THIS 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. …

September 03, 2020
RMS Estimates that Total Onshore U.S. Insured Losses from Hurricane Laura Will Be Between US$9bn – US$13bn

Newark, CA – September 3, 2020 – RMS, the world’s leading catastrophe risk solutions company, estimates that total onshore U.S. insured losses from Hurricane Laura will be between US$9.0 and US$13.0 billion. The estimate includes losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of between US$400m and US$600m. Onshore U.S. insured loss estimates for Hurricane Laura (US$ billions): Wind + Surge Inland Flood NFIP Total 8.5 – 12.0 0.1 – 0.4 0.4 – 0.6 9.0 – 13.0 “Although Laura avoided major metropolitan areas like Houston and New Orleans, it was still an extremely impactful U.S. event. After making landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm, it maintained its intensity as it moved inland, causing widespread wind and water-driven damage well into interior portions of Louisiana. The extent and severity of these damages has been verified by our development teams via web and aerial-based reconnaissance efforts”, said Jeff Waters, senior product manager, RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models.   This estimate includes wind, storm surge, and inland flood losses across impacted states, including Louisiana and Texas, based on analysis of RMS ensemble footprints (hazard reconstructions of Laura’s wind field and storm surge) in Version 18.1 of the RMS North Atlantic Hurricane Models and the RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD (high-definition) Model. Ensemble footprints capture the uncertainties surrounding observed hazard, including wind speeds, storm surge, and wave heights.  Losses reflect property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business, as well as post-event loss amplification and non-modeled sources of loss. Industrial losses include impacts to speciality lines, such as refineries and petrochemical plants, many of which lie along this part of the Gulf coastline.  The estimate also includes losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which RMS expects to reach US$400 million to US$600 million. NFIP losses were derived using an RMS view of NFIP exposure based on the 2019 policy-in-force data published by FEMA, and the Version 18.1 North Atlantic Hurricane Models. RMS estimates an additional US$1.0bn to US$2.0 billion of insured losses to offshore platforms, rigs, and pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico, due to wind and wave-driven damages. Offshore losses were estimated using the September 2020 vintage of the RMS Offshore Platform Industry Exposure Database. “Offshore assets have evolved significantly since the impactful hurricanes of Katrina and Rita in 2005 and Ike in 2008, but there is still a prevalence of platforms, rigs, and pipelines in the Gulf region. Many of these assets, including several high-value deep-water platforms, were exposed to the significant wind and wave impacts from Hurricane Laura. At landfall, Laura produced devastating sustained winds of 150 mph [240 km/h], according to both the National Hurricane Center and RMS HWind forecasting service. Our forecasts provided clients with estimates of Laura’s potential impacts in the critical days leading up to landfall,” said Pete Dailey, Vice President, Model Development.  In the two days following landfall, the system weakened considerably as it tracked further inland into Arkansas and parts of the Ohio Valley. Eventually, Laura became a “remnant low” and merged with a passing extra-tropical system, accelerating eastward off the Mid-Atlantic coast. Hurricane Laura was the twelfth named storm of the 2020 North Atlantic hurricane season, the first major hurricane of the season, and the third landfalling hurricane of the season. It was the Atlantic Basin's earliest forming twelfth storm on record, and a record seventh named storm to make landfall in the contiguous U.S. before the end of August. NOAA expects the Atlantic to remain highly active through the remaining three months of the official 2020 hurricane season.   END The technology and data used in providing the information contained in this press release are 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 CONTENTS OF THIS 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. …

About RMS

Risk Management Solutions, Inc. (RMS) helps insurers, financial markets, corporations, and public agencies evaluate and manage global risk from natural and man-made catastrophes, including hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, climate change, cyber, and pandemics.

RMS helped pioneer the catastrophe risk industry, and continues to lead in innovation by marrying data and advanced model science with leading-edge SaaS technology. Leaders across multiple industries can address the risks of tomorrow with RMS Risk Intelligence™ (RI), our open, unified cloud platform for global risk, enabling them to tap into RMS HD models, rich data layers, intuitive applications, and APIs.

Further supporting the industry's transition to modern risk management, RMS spearheaded the Risk Data Open Standard (RDOS), a new modern open standard data schema designed to be an extensible, flexible, and future-proof asset within modeling/analysis systems.

RMS is a trusted solutions partner enabling effective risk management for better business decision making across risk identification and selection, mitigation, underwriting, and portfolio management.

Visit RMS.com to learn more and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Media Contacts

Matthew Longbottom

PR Lead, EU and APAC
+44 20 7444 7706 prteam@rms.com

Devonne Cusi

PR Lead, Americas
+1 551 226 1604 prteam@rms.com
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