Willis Research Network collaboration to enhance hail loss modelling systems

Hail storm

Willis Research Network (WRN) has announced a new collaboration with NOAA’s National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) to more accurately estimate insured hail damage and enhance environmental risk management practices.

The partnership, which will focus on predicting hail damage at ground level, is expected to offer significant improvements in hail damage estimates worldwide, making use of high-resolution radar to estimate hail size, duration and coverage at ground level, where the most damage is caused.

The new system will offer insurers and reinsurers a more accurate picture of risks to animals, people and property than current systems, which draw estimates from around 10,000-50,000 feet, can offer.

“Hail is a difficult risk to model and a growing concern for underwriters in the US and across the world, particularly in regards to crops, property and auto lines,” said Rowan Douglas, Chairman of the Willis Research Network, to StrategicRisk.

“This partnership will improve the quality of hail loss modelling and aim to reduce uncertainty, which tends to reduce costs, in the market in this area.” He added that the collaboration would provide “a greater understanding of distribution of risk from hail and the damage it produces”.

The announcement comes in the wake of a hail storm in June 2012 in Dallas, Texas, which caused more than $1bn in insured losses to cars, crops and livestock. The collaboration is expected to offer new insights on the development and delivery of severe weather forecasting and modelling for the insurance industry.