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As soon as Tropical Storm Ian was named on September 26, 2022, our clients using the RMS® ExposureIQ™ application on the RMS Intelligent Risk Platform, have been accessing both our RMS Event Response event footprints and our RMS HWind real-time insights to provide a unique perspective on the progress of the storm.

The ninth named tropical storm of the current North Atlantic hurricane season, Major Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 (Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Windscale) major hurricane near Cayo Costa, Florida at 19:05 UTC (15:05 Eastern Time ET) on Wednesday, September 28.

Accounting for Uncertainty and Adjusting Your Response to Shifting Forecasts

As insurers and reinsurers know, major catastrophic events such as Hurricane Ian put pressure on the business all the way up to the C-Suite. Regulators, investors, and the corporate board expect to be kept regularly informed on the potential repercussions to the business both pre- and post-landfall.

In advance of a hurricane's landfall, uncertainty is at its highest, with shifts in forecasts leading to meaningful changes in the amount of exposure and locations impacted. Hurricane Ian is a good example of the importance of both accounting for this uncertainty and regularly updating your view of the risk as the situation evolves.

On September 26, less than 72 hours before Hurricane Ian's landfall, both a less severe scenario than ultimately unfolded (a significantly weaker storm making landfall in the Florida Panhandle) and a more severe scenario (a more northerly landfall closer to Tampa) were very real possibilities.

Further, leading up to landfall, the storm defied forecasts to rapidly intensify into a Category 4 hurricane after undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle, requiring a rapid reassessment of the possible impacts of the event.

With RMS Event Response and RMS HWind fully integrated with the ExposureIQ application, customers are better able to understand this uncertainty and can quickly update their view of the event.

Event Response footprints released on ExposureIQ (see Figure 1 below) are based on datasets from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and reflect both the areas which have experienced the tropical storm and hurricane winds, as well as a forecast probability of an area experiencing tropical storm winds.

This enables the identification of locations with both a high and low likelihood of experiencing damaging winds. HWind forecasting layers allow for an even better understanding of the uncertainty, with customers able to explore how the consequences of the event will differ across seven possible scenarios, depending on how the storm’s track, intensity, and other characteristics develop.

Additionally, both Event Response and HWind footprints are updated within the application up to four times daily to empower customers to quickly update their perspective, particularly when forecasts shift rapidly.

Hurricane Ian Exposure IQ screenshot
Figure 1: Evolution of a footprint from a past tropical storm, showing the hurricane force wind extent and the forecast probability of tropical storm winds using NHC data within the ExposureIQ application.

Simple Sharing of Insights with Key Stakeholders

Immediately following a hurricane's landfall, claims teams are demanding analytics from their colleagues to provide insights into the locations and areas most severely affected and claims volume estimates. These insights help support proactive outreach to policyholders, and to inform their claims adjustment strategy.

HWind cumulative footprints are based on observational data to ensure they provide the best possible representation of the past wind field and are updated every six hours, enabling customers to understand which areas are affected soon after landfall.

Using ExposureIQ post-landfall footprints (Figure 2 below) these can be leveraged as part of accumulation analyses to estimate the exposed limit to the event and identify the locations and regions most severely impacted.

Hurricane Ian Exposure IQ screenshot
Figure 2: Florida portion of the HWind Cumulative Footprint for Hurricane Ian as of Friday, September 30, at 1800 UTC, overlaying a sample portfolio within ExposureIQ.

The reporting and mapping functionality utilized by ExposureIQ makes it easy to share the results of such analyses in a digestible format with key stakeholders such as claims teams. Below is an example of a report from ExposureIQ highlighting the locations from a sample portfolio most exposed to the event, allowing users to quickly identify which locations could be worst affected.

Hurricane Ian Exposure IQ screenshot
Figure 3: Map of the exposed limit by ZIP code within Florida for Hurricane Ian for a sample portfolio.

Similarly, results can be visualized within a map, to be able to view the spatial distribution and concentrations of exposure affected by the event, in this case, the exposed limit of different ZIP codes to Hurricane Ian for the same portfolio.

Hurricane Ian Exposure IQ screenshot
Figure 4: Map of the exposed limit by ZIP code within Florida for Hurricane Ian using a sample portfolio.

Such information is valuable in developing a more efficient claims adjustments strategy, to assist both when determining the number of claims adjusters required and where to optimally deploy them, and enabling desk adjustment of locations where there is confidence in the level of damage experienced.

Ongoing Response to Hurricane Ian

Our RMS Event Response team has been tirelessly providing insights on Hurricane Ian since it became a tropical storm, delivering event summaries, accumulation, and modeling information both pre- and post-landfall, and is working towards providing our final optimized post-landfall release including our industry loss estimate.

As always, clients can access the latest event information on Hurricane Ian via RMS Owl, with accumulation products also available directly via RMS ExposureIQ.

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Callum Higgins
Callum Higgins
Product Manager

Callum is the product manager for RMS Event Response, including RMS HWind, and is based in London. Most recently he has been focused on improving client workflows through the integration of event response with the RMS Intelligent Risk Platform.

Previously, Callum has worked on climate change initiatives at RMS as well as updates to the India Agricultural Model and Australia Cyclone Model.

Callum is a Certified Catastrophe Risk Analyst and holds an integrated master’s degree (MEarthSci) in Earth Sciences from Oxford University.

Chloe Garrish
Chloe Garrish
Senior Product Marketing Manager, RMS

Chloe is a senior product marketing manager at RMS, where she helps customers develop data-driven strategies to better understand their risk. She has more than a decade of experience in catastrophe modeling for the (re)insurance industry.

Previously, Chloe was a senior account director for CoreLogic, managing catastrophe modeling clients across Europe, Asia, and the U.S.  Prior to CoreLogic, Chloe worked in various catastrophe modeling roles with a Lloyd’s Syndicate, AIG, and Aspen Re.

Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Geography with Anthropology from Oxford Brookes University.

Luke Norman
Luke Norman
Director - Product Management, RMS

Luke is a Director of Product Management at RMS. He has more than 15 years of experience delivering risk management solutions to both insurance and reinsurance companies. In his role at RMS, Luke is responsible for developing the roadmap for ExposureIQ™, the company’s enterprise-class, cloud-based exposure management application.

Prior to his role at RMS, Luke was Product Manager at AdvantageGo, where he managed the exposure management products Exact and Exact Max. Through this role, he has worked closely with clients across multiple insurance and reinsurance lines of business to understand their exposure management needs and ensure they are met with innovative solutions.

Luke has a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from the University of Nottingham.

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