NEWARK, C.A. – November 19, 2018 – RMS®, a global risk modeling and analytics firm, has estimated that the insured loss for the Camp and Woolsey wildfires in California will be between USD $9 and $13 billion ($7.5-$10 billion for Camp; $1.5-$3 billion for Woolsey). The estimate includes property and auto damage, including burn and smoke damage, business interruption (BI), additional living expenses (ALE), and contents loss.
The loss estimate utilized RMS’ forthcoming North America Wildfire High Definition (HD) Model to simulate the ignition, fire spread, ember accumulations, and smoke dispersion of the fires. The model’s findings were supported by damage reports from CAL FIRE as of November 18th, observations from displaced residents, and information from firefighting personnel.
The Camp and Woolsey events were among 15 fires that broke out in early November, 2018. The Camp and Woolsey Fires have currently burned a combined total of 245,000 acres, destroyed more than 12,000 homes and businesses, and killed 80 people. The Camp Fire, named for the road of its point of origin, is the most destructive fire in California history, with more than 11,000 structures burned and currently 77 fatalities. Notably, this fire season represents the second consecutive year with more than $10 billion in insured wildfire loss.
While the fuel landscape between the two fires differs significantly, with heavy forestry characterizing the Camp Fire (Northern California) and shrubland in the Woolsey Fire (Southern California), both developed under dangerous conditions that favor quick fire spread: low moisture, abnormally high temperatures, dry vegetation, and intense seasonal winds. Both traveled quickly through steep, hilly, vegetated terrain.
The town of Paradise, CA, which suffered the worst losses of the Camp Fire, has narrowly avoided catastrophic wildfires many times over the past 20 years. Thirteen large fires since 1999 have burned inside the current footprint of the Camp Fire.
The Woolsey Fire, igniting in Ventura County and jumping the Highway 101 before spreading to Malibu, resulted in over 250,000 evacuations and burned more than 1,450 high value properties.
The area around the Woolsey Fire shares a similar, if less stark, history of frequent fires. Six large fires since 1999 intersect the Woolsey footprint. Going back to 1993, the Old Topanga Wildfire, which caused almost $1 billion in today’s dollars, occurred immediately next where the Woolsey fire is currently burning.
Mohsen Rahnama, Chief Risk Modeling Officer, RMS, said: “Wildfire is now a major catastrophe risk that must be rigorously managed with the best data and model science. With increasing exposure due to properties near wildland areas and ongoing climate variability, insurers, policymakers, and homeowners must adapt to the prospect of more frequent and severe wildfires.”
“In the wake of consecutive record-breaking wildfire seasons, we are hopeful that more focus will be placed on fire mitigation, safe construction practices, and community resilience. The forthcoming RMS HD Wildfire model, developed in partnership with leading insurers and fire experts, represents a step change in measuring wildfire risk, with a 50,000-year climate simulation, explicit ember and smoke simulations, and a vulnerability module calibrated on hundreds of millions of dollars of claims data. We are confident the model will contribute to the creation of safer communities that promote fire safety and awareness.”
The technology and data used in providing this Information is based on the scientific data, mathematical and empirical models, and encoded experience of scientists and specialists. As with any model of physical systems, particularly those with low frequencies of occurrence and potentially high severity outcomes, the actual losses from catastrophic events may differ from the results of simulation analyses. RMS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL RESPONSIBILITIES, OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THE INFORMATION OR USE THEREOF, INCLUDING ALL WARRANTIES, WHETHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, WARRANTIES OF NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. IN NO EVENT SHALL RMS (OR ITS PARENT, SUBSIDIARY, OR OTHER AFFILIATED COMPANIES) BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THE CONTENTS OF THIS INFORMATION OR USE THEREOF.
NEWARK, CA – January 25, 2023 – Moody’s RMS®, the leading global catastrophe risk modeling and solutions company, estimates total U.S. economic losses from the recent California flooding at US$5-7 billion. This estimate reflects inland flood impacts for the U.S. and includes damage to infrastructure. The insured losses are anticipated to be between US$0.5-1.5 billion, including losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the private flood market. The overall economic loss estimate is based on an event reconstruction using the Moody’s RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model and reflects property damage, contents, and business interruption, across residential, commercial, industrial, automobile and infrastructure assets. A series of extratropical cyclones starting December 26, 2022, impacted the West Coast of the U.S, which resulted in heavy rainfall, overtopped rivers, flash floods, levee breaches, mudslides, fallen trees, debris flow, and heavy snow at high altitudes, together with some wind damage. The rainfall associated with these extratropical cyclones was exacerbated by a band of high atmospheric water vapor, also known as an ‘atmospheric river’. The rainfall intensity in California was so extreme that several locations in central California set new three-week rainfall records and certain locations received their annual average rainfall totals in less than one month. This led to widespread flash floods and river overtopping, for example, water depths in the San Lorenzo River upstream of Santa Cruz rose by more than 16 feet (4.87 meters) in less than eight hours. This was the highest recorded water depth for the San Lorenzo River since records began some 85 years ago. Infrastructure damage, which is accounted for within the economic loss estimates, was extensive. State highways and local roads bore the brunt of the damage due to a combination of flooding and mudslides. Trees previously stressed by dry conditions were uprooted due to high water velocities, saturated soils and heavy winds, which also caused damage to power networks, as well as to cars and properties. The continuous rainfall and compound impacts from riverine-groundwater-coastal interactions also resulted in prolonged flooding for certain urban coastal areas of California. Furthermore, the continuous drought preceding these extratropical cyclones events adds an extra dimension of complexity for reservoir operators and residents. It is important to highlight that 2022 was the second driest year in over 128 years for certain areas (e.g., Santa Cruz) and was categorized under ‘extreme drought’ according to the National Integrated Drought Information System. Although there has been a significant increase in the water levels of major reservoirs and snowpack, it remains unlikely that California is out of the drought, especially when it comes to aquifer replenishment, given the last three years of extreme drought and excessive groundwater withdrawals. These storms generated high-intensity rainfall resulting in a high proportion of rainfall running off into the ocean, whereas aquifers generally recharge gradually from less intense rainfall systems and snow melt. “To put this event in historical perspective with the 1862 ARkStorm, although some impacted areas are similar, the ARkStorm produced much more severe precipitation, for example, 35 inches (88.9 centimeters) of precipitation in San Francisco compared to ~ 15 inches (38 centimeters) from this event. Another important mitigating factor for this event is the presence of flood defenses, which were mostly absent in 1862,” said Mohsen Rahnama, Chief Risk Modeling Officer, Moody’s RMS. A relatively small proportion of the economic damage is expected to be covered by insurance. The number of households in California with flood insurance stands at less than two percent – a figure that has been steadily declining. As of August 2022, there were only 193,281 residential National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies in place, representing a decline of around five percent as compared to 2021. These low flood insurance take-up rates are attributed to the fact that only homeowners holding a government-backed loan who live in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) are mandated to obtain a flood insurance policy. But these SFHA boundary ‘flood zones’ do not always reflect the current flood risk, are backward-looking, and are infrequently revised. Other factors impacting flood insurance take-up rates include, but are not limited to, affordability, the misconception that flood is covered under a standard homeowners’ policy, and a lack of understanding of the associated incurred cost from flooding. Firas Saleh, Director, Product Management, Moody’s RMS, concluded: “Extreme drought leads to soil compaction which means less infiltration and more runoff, hence less aquifer recharge and higher risk of flooding. Nowhere is safe from flooding in California today. If we’ve learned anything from this extreme rainfall and subsequent damage, it’s that even perceived low-risk flood zones are still flood zones. If it rains, it can overflow.”
NEWARK, CA – 18 January 2023 – Moody’s RMS®, the leading global catastrophe risk modeling and solutions company, is pleased to announce that, as of the end of 2022, over 100 active clients have adopted and/or are utilizing applications and services on the Moody’s RMS Intelligent Risk Platform™ (IRP). Designed for unified risk analytics, the IRP is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform offering applications and services such as Risk Modeler, which enables all risk exposures to be prepared and managed in one place, ready for risk modeling, accumulation, and loss analysis using RMS High Definition™, Detailed Loss, and Aggregate Loss Models. The platform comes with application programming interfaces (APIs) available to deliver global hazard data, risk scores, and loss costs for touchless underwriting as well as real-time event response information, with applications such as ExposureIQ™ – which proved highly valuable during Hurricane Ian in 2022 – to establish the potential impact of an event on a client’s portfolio. The platform has gained significant traction among brokers, insurers, reinsurers, managing general agents (MGAs), and Lloyd’s syndicates across the globe, including Apollo, Tokio Marine, and Gallagher Re, and has also proved popular with banks and real estate asset managers keen to utilize the insights across their portfolios. The IRP removes the need to procure and maintain extensive, high-cost IT infrastructure environments required to support various risk modeling and analytics applications. Insurance and financial services clients also benefit from a quick onboarding process offering access to applications and associated models within days of subscribing. RMS risk models are available on the IRP from the latest High-Definition models, to Detailed Loss Models (DLM) and Aggregate Loss Models (ALM), using established RiskLink® and RiskBrowser® workflows familiar to the market. IRP applications are also designed to integrate with third-party and in-house systems used by insurance and financial firms to provide enhanced data insights. Clients using the cloud-based IRP have availability to the latest model data, with risk model updates integrated automatically with minimal downtime, without the requirement for maintenance and additional IT support. Cihan Biyikoglu, Executive Vice President, Moody’s RMS, said: “I am thrilled to see the great enthusiasm from our customers to the Intelligent Risk Platform. In this short period since its birth, we have customers across all major geographies, including Europe, the Americas, and Asia, and across insurers, reinsurers, and brokers modeling their accounts, portfolios, and underwriting on our platform every day. As one measure of engagement, we are already seeing hundreds of millions of commercial and residential locations analyzed daily on our platform, from earthquakes to hurricanes, and windstorms to climate change models.” “By Moody’s RMS successfully delivering a true SaaS application, clients have genuinely benefited from highly scalable automation and integration to create far more efficient end-to-end risk modeling workflows across business applications. And by clients adopting the IRP, we are also seeing an increasing number of businesses turning off their on-premises RiskLink or legacy analytics applications altogether. We look to further develop and enhance the IRP experience as the client base continues to grow and expand.”
LONDON – December 12, 2022 – Ardonagh Specialty, part of the Ardonagh Group, has signed a new agreement with RMS®, a Moody’s Analytics company and world-leading risk modeling and solutions company, to broaden their adoption of the RMS Intelligent Risk Platform™ and advance Ardonagh Specialty’s risk modeling and advisory capabilities using the RMS U.S. Flood HD Model and the RMS U.S. Wildfire HD Model. The partnership spans Ardonagh Specialty’s brands including Besso, Bishopsgate, Compass London Markets, Ed Broking, Inver Re, Piiq, and Price Forbes. Antony Erotocritou, CEO of Ardonagh Specialty said: “It has always been important to us that Ardonagh Specialty strives to offer increased value to our clients. Investment in differentiating data and analytics capabilities is a core part of our value proposition. We’re excited to partner with clients and markets, creating new value, and unlocking new opportunities for the industry. By extending our long-term partnership with RMS we are confident that all our clients will continue to benefit from the high levels of service and solutions we always aim to deliver.” Michael Steel, General Manager, RMS added: “We are delighted to extend and strengthen our work with Ardonagh. Advanced implementation of RMS Risk Modeler™ can only enhance the speed, precision, and consistency across all risk decisions across the portfolio. As the increased impact of major catastrophic events such as floods and wildfires continues to evolve, brokers and insurers are keen to embrace the latest science and technology to help them better understand the risks and opportunities they face. We’re delighted to help Ardonagh service their clients with distinction.” About Ardonagh Specialty Ardonagh Specialty is the holding company and growth platform for leading independent brokers Besso Insurance, Bishopsgate, Compass London Markets, Ed Broking, Inver Re, Piiq Risk Partners, and Price Forbes. Combined, Ardonagh Specialty has 1,400 colleagues globally and manages US$6 billion in gross written premium. With a strong presence and deep relationships worldwide, and a steadfast commitment to investing in the best people, markets, and technology, together the businesses offer open market programs, reinsurance, and international solutions designed to empower clients to achieve their strategic ambition.