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AIR Worldwide updates flood models for Central Europe & UK

25th June 2019 - Author: Matt Sheehan

AIR Worldwide, the catastrophe risk modelling arm of Verisk Analytics, has released an update to its inland flood model for Central Europe and coastal flood model for Great Britain.

Flood insurance and reinsurance imageThe domain of the inland flood model for Central Europe has been expanded to include the country of Poland.

This model features rainfall-runoff modelling and hydraulic modelling of river networks extending more than 250,000km, and includes more than 45,000 stream links and unit catchments located within Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland, and now Poland.

Additionally, AIR announced that it has updated the storm surge component of its coastal flood model for Great Britain, which is now incorporated into the AIR Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe.

The model now includes new storm surge events for the stochastic catalog and an expanded domain that includes all coastal areas of England and Wales.

It also incorporates coastal sea defences, such as levees and sea walls, as well as their probability of failure, and updated damage functions.

“The AIR Inland Flood Model for Central Europe is a fully stochastic, event-based flood model designed to support both individual risk selection and portfolio risk management,” said Cagdas Kafali, Senior Vice President of Research at AIR Worldwide.

“It covers the effects of precipitation-induced flooding to insurable properties for both on- and off-floodplain locations,” he added.

“The model captures many of the complexities inherent in the flood-generation process, such as the space-time patterns of rainfall input; the effects of a highly variable climate, topography, soil type, and other local factors that determine the amount of rainfall drained to the rivers; and the effects of snowmelt and man-made flood defenses on the flood risk.”

Turning to the extratropical cyclone model, Kafali explained that the UK is one of the countries in Europe most vulnerable to coastal flooding, with more approximately 10-15% of its coastlines less than 5 meters above sea level.

He continued: “The new surge sub-peril can capture the effects of storm surge flooding on insured properties on the coasts of England and Wales and help address the wide spectrum of storm surge risk management needs of all stakeholders throughout the insurance and reinsurance industries, while accounting for the insurance policy conditions specific to the modeled regions of Great Britain.”

The AIR Inland Flood Model for Central Europe and the AIR Extratropical Cyclone Model for Europe are currently available in the Touchstone, Touchstone Re(TM), and CATRADER catastrophe risk management systems.

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