Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, has developed a fully probabilistic flood model for Canada to help insurers and reinsurers better underwrite and manage their riverine and off-flood plain exposures.

The model was developed in response to devastating floods in Calgary and Toronto in the summer of 2013—the costliest year in the Canadian insurance industry’s history, Aon Benfield said in a statement.

The model offers a complete view of Canadian flood risk, providing underwriting data that drills down to individual locations while helping insurers understand the impact of accumulations on their portfolios. Deployed in ELEMENTS, Impact Forecasting’s loss calculation platform, the model can be used for underwriting needs through its data or as part of a third-party system.

The model is licensable and can be rolled out onto insurers’ desktops for easy access, said Aon Benfield.

The model comprises the following features:

  • Covers a geographical area representing 98 percent of the Canadian population.
  • Incorporates essential Canadian hazard content including local sources of spatial (GeoBase government initiative) and hydrological (Environment Canada and Le Centre d’expertise hydrique du Québec) data.
  • Has combined hazard resolution of 10 meters for the most exposed areas and 30 meters for remaining parts of Canada.
  • Assesses the potential levels of damage based on loss data from Impact Forecasting’s seven other country-specific flood models and Canadian client claims information to reflect local characteristics.
  • Follows the latest scientific advances including two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling of all Canadian flood extents, advanced hydrological data processing and implementation of flood defenses.

Vaclav Rara, flood model developer at Impact Forecasting, commented: “The model is unique in its spatial scope, geographical resolution and state-of-the-art hydrological innovation resulting in enhanced loss accuracy estimates. It allows essential understanding and transparency through access to underlying data and to the developers in Impact Forecasting for ongoing support.”

Demonstrations of the new model will be featured at the inaugural Aon Benfield Canada Catastrophe Analytics Roadshow taking place in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto in June, the company said.

Source: Aon plc