How Insurance Is Rethinking Cat Modeling After Last Year’s Disasters

July 11, 2018 by Elizabeth Blosfield

After Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas last August, it left behind not only an estimated $125 billion in damage and nearly 50 inches of rain in some areas but also questions for the insurance industry in terms of how to approach catastrophe modeling in the future, according to panelists at the June 2018 S&P Insurance Conference in New York.

“You can run the models all day,” said panelist Steven Kelner, managing director and head of U.S./Canada Analytics at Guy Carpenter & Company LLC. “But when you go down to Houston and look at neighborhoods, there were huge neighborhoods where the whole neighborhood was deemed not flood-exposed—and the whole neighborhood but a house or two was flooded. The maps weren’t accurate because the data wasn’t up to date.”