Specialist insurer Hiscox has announced the launch of a new app that uses augmented reality (AR) to illustrate the growing flood threat to coastal areas from rising sea levels.
The app allows people to see how predicted sea-level rises could affect Greenville, a suburb of Jersey City, N.J., using a virtual topographical map.
According to Hiscox, 8.8% of properties in Hudson County, where Jersey City is located, could be flooded if global sea levels rise by as much as some climate experts predict – up to 2.4 meters by the end of the century. More than a third of those properties are not in a National Flood Insurance Program-designated Special Flood Hazard Area – meaning they aren’t mandated to buy flood insurance.
“Rising sea levels represent a global threat, with the scientific consensus being that more communities and lives will soon be at risk from flooding,” said Dan Alpay, flood line underwriter for Hiscox London Market. “As a leading US flood insurer, it is important to highlight the issue, which this app does neatly using the innovative technology that underpins our FloodPlus product.”
Alpay said that increasing coastal communities’ flood resilience was essential.
“But for those discussions and preparations to begin, the scale of the threat needs to be better understood,” he said. “We hope that our new app will help that discussion.”