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.”
LONDON – September 12, 2023 – Moody’s RMS™, the leading global catastrophe risk modeling and solutions company, has announced the launch of Moody's RMS Cyber Industry Steering Group to develop industry initiatives that respond to the growth of the global cyber insurance market. Leading market participants Munich Re and Gallagher Re, and global cyber risk management leader Bitsight have joined the steering group, with other industry partners from across the insurance ecosystem to follow. With cyber underwriting offering huge growth potential, the group has been formed to tackle the current constraints to growth in the cyber insurance market. These constraints include a lack of standardization across different market functions, and with cyber representing a fast-moving, emerging peril, there is still a lack of confidence and insufficient comfort across insurance boardrooms, investors, and the regulatory community around cyber risk. The participants share a vital interest in growing the cyber insurance market, and together they will advise and steer the group in developing and supporting a long-term strategy that increases risk analytics transparency and advances the industry’s view of cyber risk. Achieving a greater understanding of cyber risk will help provide the reassurance and confidence required by the industry to seize growth opportunities. In addition, Moody’s RMS has announced significant increases in its cyber risk analytics investment to help realize the market’s growth potential. For Moody’s RMS, this enhanced investment in cyber analytics will look to develop a unified currency of cyber risk across underwriting, systemic aggregation, and risk management. Michael Steel, General Manager, Moody’s RMS, said: “There is a clear need and a significant opportunity to accelerate growth in the global cyber underwriting market. However, there are many legitimate concerns around risk, regulation, and the lack of standardization. We are therefore committing to significantly increase our investment in cyber modeling, as we see this effort as central in our role to help develop new markets for the industry’s growth. The introduction of Moody’s RMS Cyber Industry Steering Group represents a significant step forward in helping focus these investments and bring together industry-wide efforts to solve challenges and ultimately create a unified currency of risk across underwriting, aggregation, and risk management.” Dr Jürgen Reinhart, Chief Cyber Underwriter, Munich Re, said: “Cyber insurance is a dynamically developing line of business, projected to grow rapidly in the coming years. It is vital that this growth be underpinned by reliable and widely accepted models, both to foster a sustainable market and to ensure further capacity. Initiatives like these play a significant role in improving industry-wide understanding of cyber accumulation risk and underwriting quality, while also strengthening stakeholder confidence. Munich Re is proud to collaborate closely with other insurers and vendors on this initiative as we seek to meet the demands of the growing market.” Tom Wakefield, Global CEO, Gallagher Re, said: “Cyber represents both a systemic risk and huge opportunity for our industry. In a market likely to always be capital-constrained due to the sheer scale of future demand for risk transfer, our biggest challenge is attracting enough capital to support clients’ growth in this area. Gallagher Re’s dedicated cyber team spends an incredible amount of time educating potential investors and capacity providers, getting them comfortable with the risks, and addressing correlation concerns to bring in that additional capital. So, by combining the expertise and insight of leading cyber (re)insurers, brokers, and catastrophe risk modelers in an industry steering group, we’ll produce a powerful mechanism for advancing the wider industry’s view of cyber risk. We are proud to partner with Moody’s RMS on this important initiative.” Derek Vadala, Chief Risk Officer, Bitsight, added: “Strong partnerships are essential to successfully managing cyber risk because it is a complex, persistent, and asymmetric threat for organizations of all industries and sizes. Bitsight is excited to further expand its partnership with Moody’s RMS by joining other leaders in the insurance industry in helping manage this critical, exponential risk. As the creator of the cyber security ratings market, Bitsight helps organizations by leveraging its vast set of cyber exposure data and its proven cyber risk models which provide correlation to cybersecurity incidents. We look forward to working together in order to help address this important global issue.” END About Munich Re Munich Re is one of the world’s leading providers of reinsurance, primary insurance, and insurance-related risk solutions. The Group consists of the reinsurance and ERGO business segments, as well as the asset manager MEAG. Munich Re is globally active and operates in all lines of the insurance business. Since it was founded in 1880, Munich Re has been known for its unrivaled risk-related expertise and its sound financial position. It offers customers financial protection when faced with exceptional levels of damage – from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake through Hurricane Ida in 2021. Munich Re possesses outstanding innovative strength, which enables it to also provide coverage for extraordinary the range of services that it offers. Its tailor-made solutions and close proximity to its customers make Munich Re one of the world’s most sought-after risk partners for businesses, institutions, and private individuals. DisclaimerThis media release contains forward-looking statements that are based on current assumptions and forecasts of the management of Munich Re. Known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors could lead to material differences between the forward-looking statements given here and the actual development of our Company, in particular the results, financial situation, and performance. The Company assumes no liability to update these forward-looking statements or to make them conform to future events or developments. About Gallagher Re One of the world’s largest reinsurance brokers and advisory firms, operating across the risk and capital spectrum, Gallagher Re is part of Gallagher, the global brokerage, risk management, and consulting services firm (NYSE: AJG) headquartered in Rolling Meadows, Illinois. Originally founded in 2013 as the co-venture ‘Capsicum Re’ with Gallagher, the business grew rapidly and became wholly owned by Gallagher in 2020. In December 2021, the transformational acquisition of Willis Re was completed, making Gallagher Re the world’s third-largest reinsurance broker with a team of over 2,600 colleagues trading from more than 70 offices across 31 countries including all the key global reinsurance hubs of North America, Europe, and Asia. Gallagher Re prioritizes client advocacy above all else and offers clients a powerful combination of global and specialist expertise and geographic reach. By combining world-class analytics capabilities with reinsurance expertise, strategic advisory services, and transactional excellence, Gallagher Re helps clients drive greater value from their businesses, negotiate optimum terms, and make better reinsurance decisions. Its global client base includes all of the world’s top insurance and reinsurance carriers as well as national catastrophe schemes in many countries around the world. For more information see www.gallagherre.com About Bitsight Bitsight is a global cyber risk management leader transforming how organizations manage exposure, performance, and risk for themselves and their third parties. Companies rely on Bitsight to prioritize their cybersecurity investments, build greater trust within their ecosystem, and reduce their chances of financial loss. Built on over a decade of market-leading innovation, its integrated solutions deliver value across enterprise security performance, digital supply chains, cyber insurance, and data analysis.
Newark, CA – September 4, 2023 – Moody’s RMS®, a Moody’s Analytics firm and world-leading risk modeling and solutions company, estimates the total private market insured losses from Hurricane Idalia to be between US$3 billion and US$5 billion, with a best estimate of US$3.5 billion. This estimate represents insured losses associated with wind, storm surge, and precipitation-induced flooding. Total insured loss estimates for Major Hurricane Idalia (US$ billions) are: Wind (incl. coverage leakage) Storm surge excl. NFIP Inland flood excl. NFIP Total excl. NFIP Best estimate Private Market Insured Loss 2.2 - 3.4 0.5 - 1.3 0.3 3.0 - 5.0 3.5 Estimates of insured wind and storm surge losses from Idalia are based on analysis of ensemble footprints in Moody’s RMS Version 23 North Atlantic Hurricane Models. These ensemble footprints are reconstructions of Idalia’s hazard that capture the uncertainties surrounding observed winds and storm surge. Moody’s RMS developed and validated the wind, storm surge, and inland flood reconstructions and corresponding loss estimates using publicly available data, including wind station observations, river gauge water level data, web reconnaissance, and analysis of aerial imagery. Jeff Waters, Staff Product Manager, North Atlantic Hurricane Models, Moody’s RMS, said: “Major Hurricane Idalia could have been much more impactful had the storm taken a different track or not weakened just before landfall. As a result, the tight gradient of damaging winds combined with limited exposure and low flood take-up rates in the worst-affected area should reduce the overall level of insured losses.” “Nevertheless, we expect this event will test Florida (re)insurers on the heels of new legislation passed over the last several months to stabilize the market and curb the impacts of social inflation.” In addition to the private insurance market, Moody’s RMS estimates around US$500 million in losses to the NFIP from this event, primarily in Florida. These losses were derived using Moody’s RMS view of NFIP exposure based on policy-in-force data published by FEMA, Moody's RMS Version 23 North Atlantic Hurricane Models, and Version 1.2 of Moody’s RMS U.S. Inland Flood HD Model. Estimated losses reflect property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, watercraft, and automobile lines of business, and consider sources of post-event loss amplification (PLA), inflationary trends, and non-modeled sources of loss. While insured losses from Idalia will be driven by wind and storm surge, flood could contribute up to a third of the total event losses. Insured wind and NFIP losses will be driven by residential lines, while private market water losses will be dominated by commercial and automobile lines, mostly in Florida. Julie Serakos, Senior Vice President, Moody’s RMS, added: “Prior to Idalia, Florida’s ‘Big Bend’ region was largely untested by landfalling major hurricanes. Much of the building stock affected by Idalia is older and built before the onset of statewide building codes during the 1990s. However, wind observations from the event suggest Idalia’s wind speeds were just around the design windspeed levels for the region. In addition, newer roofs on many properties installed in recent years after Hurricanes Irma and Ian should help minimize extensive damage in Florida.” “As for water impacts, Idalia caused significant storm surge-related damage in several areas along the Florida and southeast U.S. coastlines. For inland flooding, while it was wide in its extent, it was nominal in severity.” Rajkiran Vojjala, Vice President, Model Development, Moody’s RMS, commented: “While post-event loss amplification is typically nominal for such low magnitude events, we must consider the ongoing effects of inflation and residual impacts from Major Hurricane Ian on claims severity for Major Hurricane Idalia.” “Construction costs have come down from record levels in recent years, but they remain higher than their long-term averages. Additionally, Florida requires state-certified contractors to complete roof repairs, and the widespread extent of wind damage in Idalia may exacerbate the existing fragile labor situation in Florida and lead to an unexpectedly long recovery.” Major Hurricane Idalia was the ninth named storm of the 2023 North Atlantic Hurricane Season, the third hurricane, and the second named storm to make landfall in the U.S. this season. Idalia was the first major category hurricane to make landfall in the Florida Big Bend region since recordkeeping began in 1842, and the eighth major hurricane to make landfall in the continental U.S. since 2017 (Harvey, Irma, Michael, Laura, Zeta, Ida, Ian). Idalia made landfall on August 30, 2023, near Keaton Beach, Florida as a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour (205 kilometers per hour), resulting in the fourth consecutive year that a major hurricane has made landfall in the U.S. The storm brought a combination of strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rainfall to coastal and interior areas of Florida’s Big Bend region, before weakening and moving inland through parts of Georgia and the southeast U.S., including the Carolinas. Prior to impacting the U.S., Idalia hit parts of Cuba as a Category 1 hurricane. As we approach the climatological peak of the season in mid-September, more than two months remain in the 2023 North Atlantic hurricane season, officially ending on November 30. Moody’s RMS industry loss estimates for landfalling hurricanes provide a comprehensive view, reflecting modeled and non-modeled impacts from all major drivers of damage, including wind, storm surge, and inland flooding. END The technology and data used in providing this information are based on scientific data, mathematical and empirical models, and the 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. MOODY’S RMS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL RESPONSIBILITIES, OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THIS 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 MOODY’S 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 – September 1, 2023 – On Saturday, September 1, 1923, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck the Tokyo, Japan region causing extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure. Total damage at the time of the event is estimated at 5.5-6.5 billion yen. Using Moody’s RMS® Japan Earthquake and Tsunami HD Model, for a repeat of the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake today, we estimate the economic losses would be to the order of 48.5 trillion JPY or US$331 billion with insurance covering more than a third of the economic loss level. This loss estimate includes losses to property and business interruption and accounts for post-event loss amplification factors such as increases in the pricing for material and labor. In the 1923 event, while the damage from the strong ground shaking was severe and widespread, fires triggered by the earthquake swept through a substantial part of the city causing significant additional damage. It was estimated that 70 percent of the structures were destroyed across the Tokyo region and including Yokohama. Other processes that contributed to the damage across a wider region included liquefaction, land sliding, and tsunami waves. In all, the event impacted seven prefectures including Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Saitama, Shizuoka, and Yamanashi. The ground shaking was felt over a wide area from southern Hokkaido to the Chugoku and Shikoku regions. Regrettably, casualties were very significant with estimates that more than 100,000 people perished which represented about 2.5 percent of the total Tokyo metropolitan region population at the time. Prior to the Great Kanto event, Tokyo had experienced several damaging earthquakes including the 1855 Ansei Edo Earthquake. In the two decades prior to the 1923 earthquake, the population had doubled to almost four million. On the morning of September 1, 1923, the weather was muggy and windy impacted by a typhoon that had passed over Kyushu. Many people were preparing their midday meals using their cooking stoves when the event struck very close to noon, and as a result, the earthquake then triggered hundreds of fires across the city. The fire caused by the Great Kanto Earthquake was the largest urban fire to date. When totaled, almost 300,000 buildings across the wider Tokyo/Yokohama region were destroyed, with ~212,000 burned, ~80,000 collapsed, and another ~80,000 partially collapsed. The total damage is estimated at 5.5-6.5 billion yen, which was more than a third of the Japan GDP at the time. The city government responded with an ambitious reconstruction effort. Passing the City Planning Act of 1924, allowed the city to claim up to 10 percent of a property area (with no compensation) to allow for the re-adjustment of city lots. The goal was to reconstruct the city to be more fire resistant, with wider, safer streets and by adding numerous parks as fire breaks. It is also interesting to note that based on the observation of building damage, in 1924 Japan introduced the first building codes in the world that included a seismic design calculation method. Today, Tokyo is the largest metropolitan region in the world with a population of more than 35 million – almost 10 times larger than in 1923. Tokyo sits on one of the most seismically active and tectonically complex locations in the world. Three tectonic plates converge under the Tokyo metropolitan region: the Philippine Sea, the Pacific, and the Okhotsk plates. The 1923 event occurred along the interface where the Philippine Sea plate is pushed beneath the Okhotsk plate on which the Japanese Island of Honshu sits. This interface is called the Sagami Trough which was the source of the larger 1703 8.1 magnitude Genroku Earthquake that also caused significant destruction, fires, and loss of life in Tokyo. In comparing the 1923 event with if it were to occur today, a key difference is driven by shake damage with fire contributing only 7 percent of the losses and just a very small contribution from tsunami. Why? First, the reconstruction following the 1923 fires with the wider streets and inclusion of more, larger parks would mitigate the ability of fires to spread and to coalesce into large conflagrations. Today, in the highest populated parts of Tokyo, the population density is less than 50% of what it was in 1923. Additionally, the fire suppression systems in Tokyo are much more sophisticated today with lessons learned from many events including the 1995 Kobe earthquake which had a significant component of its damage due to fires. Moreover, fire and seismic design requirements for structures built in Japan are some of the most sophisticated in the world, which limit the overall damage, the potential for fire ignitions, and protect lives. Chesley Williams, Senior Director, Global Earthquake Product Management, Moody’s RMS said: “The 1923 event was the last major damaging earthquake to directly hit the Tokyo region. Tokyo has a long history of damaging events including the 1703 M8.1 Genroku Earthquake and the 1855 M7 Ansei Edo Earthquake. The most significant damaging event for Japan in recent years was the 2011 M9.0 Great East Tohoku Earthquake. The 2011 event impacted more remote parts of Japan and had a very significant component of losses due to tsunami waves. The estimated loss level for a repeat of the 1923 event (48.5 trillion JPY) is roughly three times the economic impacts observed during the 2011 event.” Later in September, Moody’s RMS will be publishing a white paper that expands on the potential impacts of a repeat of the 1923 event. END The technology and data used in providing this information is based on 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. MOODY’S RMS SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIMS ANY AND ALL RESPONSIBILITIES, OBLIGATIONS AND LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ANY DECISIONS OR ADVICE MADE OR GIVEN AS A RESULT OF THIS 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 MOODY’S 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.