The science behind wind verification technology

Each year extreme weather events post a growing threat to insurers

The science behind wind verification technology

Catastrophe & Flood


By Contributor Daniel Betten

The ability to understand the specific impact of each storm can be challenging for carriers who are looking to enable a more proactive approach rather than a reactive storm response. Each year, extreme weather events, including wind, pose a growing threat to property and casualty insurers in the United States, causing billions of dollars in insured losses. Wind is one of nature’s most difficult hazards to measure, and damage caused from it can go undetected for months, often resulting in considerable collateral damage, which can lead to very long claims cycles, and have an adverse impact on overall customer satisfaction.

Often, to document a claim file, insurance claims adjusters have relied on public reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and nearby airport observations. Because neither of these sources represents the wind at or near the location of interest, claim denial or approval decisions were open to interpretation, leading carriers to approve claims that were not necessarily valid. In addition to poorly understood post-storm exposure, it lead to significant challenges calibrating storm response, and estimating Incurred but Not Reported (IBNR) reserves.

Why do forensic wind verification technologies exist?

Unlike hail, which can be visually seen, wind often concentrates in the center of severe storms, and is invisible and can vary widely over small geographic areas. Forensic wind verification technologies exist so that carriers can compare detailed storm maps and reports with their books of business. The ability to perform this analysis leads to a better understanding of the impact of each unique storm. With this new ability to accurately verify and pinpoint affected areas, more targeted response plans can be developed to improve customer satisfaction, catastrophe response efficiency, and confidently detect fraudulent claims.

The proprietary wind verification technology from CoreLogic

The P&C industry is exposed to billions in insured losses every year due to wind. Through using the unique business intelligence of our proprietary wind verification science, insurers can proactively respond to customer inquiries and deploy the appropriate resources with precision. The proprietary wind verification technology from CoreLogic uses both radar and observations taking advantage of the high-resolution patterns of radar, and the accuracy of observations in the model. We use bias-correction to overcome some of the limitations of observations, and can utilize tens of thousands of additional wind observations that would otherwise be too inaccurate for use in verification. Our robust radar processing system determines which areas of radar-detected winds are likely and unlikely to be present near the ground, so we’re able to use radar even where beam height is very high. By combining observational and radar-based wind data estimates, the final wind speed estimate is created leading to a wind analysis that provides 500-meter resolution with neighborhood-level detail.

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