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Swiss Re targets advanced flood risk management with ICEYE partnership

2nd March 2021 - Author: Luke Gallin

Global reinsurer Swiss Re has advanced its natural catastrophe services via a new strategic partnership with ICEYE, the world’s largest commercial synthetic-aperture Radar (SAR) satellite operator and flood monitoring provider.

Flooded sign image via 89.3KPCCBuilding on ICEYE’s technology, the new partnership aims to advance flood risk management, assist disaster response and speed up claims payments globally.

Clients of reinsurance giant Swiss Re stand to benefit from enhanced insights and bespoke solutions, with the partnership enabling early warning systems and near real-time flood monitoring built on ICEYE’s capabilities with radar satellite imaging.

The partnership brings together Swiss Re’s risk knowledge with data from a leading commercial radar satellite operator. Unique radar satellite constellation, high resolution imaging capabilities, and rapid response analysis fuel ICEYE’s monitoring product, which offers global coverage for Swiss Re to track and react faster to flood events.

Initially, the partnership will have a focus on the flood peril but in the near future the plan is to expand to other perils, such as wildfires, wind, and earthquake damages.

Year after year, flooding is often one of the most recurrent and costly natural catastrophe events anywhere in the world. Modelling floods can prove extremely difficult at the best of times, but in locations with fine-scale changes in elevation, complex terrains and man-made structures, which is typical for dense urban centres, the challenges become ever more pronounced.

The Swiss Re and ICEYE partnership aims to address exactly these areas where the majority of flood modelling today falls short.

Under the arrangement, Swiss Re gains access to ICEYE’s SAR data on global flood events, high accuracy observation-based flood maps, and water depth estimations within 24 hours for these events. Swiss Re will then make footprint assessments of the events available on its proprietary geo risk platform, CatNet Premium, enabling clients faster loss assessment and payouts.

Swiss Re’s Global Head of P&C Solutions, Pranav Pasricha, commented: “We’re very pleased to announce the strategic partnership with ICEYE. By combining Swiss Re’s risk knowledge with ICEYE’s data, we will be able to further expand our capabilities in geo and remote sensing.

“The partnership will enable us to develop solutions, advance our services to the benefit of our clients and enable faster claims payouts. We see this as an important commitment for a serious natural catastrophe threat and think it could become a real game changer.”

Charles Blanchet, VP Solutions, ICEYE, added: “Swiss Re has challenged ICEYE to create a transformative flood monitoring capability for the insurance industry, and they have helped us create it. We look forward to partnering with Swiss Re to give Swiss Re and their clients a competitive advantage in the market.”

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