Reinsurance News

Swiss Re & ICEYE provide parametric flood cover for NYC neighborhoods

7th March 2023 - Author: Kane Wells

Guy Carpenter, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, and ICEYE are set to provide technical assistance to the Centre for NYC Neighborhoods (CNYCN) on a new parametric product to protect high-flood-risk NYC neighborhoods.

CNYCN has launched the new pilot project in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Climate & Environmental Justice (MOCEJ), the Environmental Defense Fund, and SBP, to support vulnerable communities with emergency cash funds after a major flood.

CNYCN states that the “learning pilot” will provide up to $1.1 million in emergency funding to low-and moderate-income households in need following a major flood event.

Through this parametric product, payouts will be made for qualifying flood events using a mix of satellite data, on-the-ground real-time sensors, and social media images, compiled by ICEYE, a provider of natural catastrophe data and the technology partner for the program.

By utilising these observations, CNYCN suggests that the extent can be determined within days and the funds released immediately to help the most affected communities with urgent post-disaster needs.

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Those who qualify can receive a grant of up to $15,000 from CNYCN in the aftermath of a major flood.

The application portal will open once a qualified weather event triggers the policy. Households can apply on their own or through the help of CNYCN’s network partners.

If a flood occurs, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and technology partner, ICEYE, will determine the percentage of each insured neighborhood that falls within the flooded area, and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions will issue a payment to the CNYCN to then distribute to individual households.

Christie Peale, CEO and Executive Director of CNYCN, commented, “Extreme flooding and natural disasters often impact traditionally marginalized communities the most, as they have little to no savings and are often denied post-disaster loans, while federal funding is typically insufficient or extremely delayed.

“This innovative program will stimulate real change in providing immediate access to funds that help build towards recovery.”

The contract was placed through Guy Carpenter’s affiliate, MMC Securities LLC, U.S. registered broker/dealer and member FINRA/NFA/SIPC. Both entities are wholly owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies.

Jake Clark, Head of Public Sector North America for Guy Carpenter, said, “With the increasing frequency and severity of adverse weather impacting communities, it is crucial that we take steps to protect the most vulnerable.

“Guy Carpenter is honoured to be a part of this important solution and we encourage other communities to use these approaches as a component of disaster risk management efforts.”

Jackie Higgins, Head of Public Sector Solutions North America, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, noted, “This innovative product allows New York City to optimize its resources and focus on helping low and moderate-income communities to recover more quickly after a severe flooding event.”

Andy Read, Global Head of Government Solutions at ICEYE, said, “This historic program will bring critical financial support to low-income households and help the City respond decisively to flood events.

“This partnership represents a cornerstone step in the right direction as we seek to address a growing flood protection gap.”

The project is funded by the Civic Innovation Challenge, with support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Homeland Security.

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