RMS Unveils First Hurricane Model to Include Effects of Extratropical Transition

February 13, 2003

Risk Management Solutions (www.rms.com), a provider of products and services for the management of catastrophe risk, has launched the third generation of its U.S. Hurricane model, the first such model to fully represent the physical processes of hurricanes that impact the U.S.

Among other enhanced features, the model incorporates new research into the phenomenon of “transitioning storms” – storms that particularly affect the Atlantic coast north of Cape Hatteras and that exhibit different characteristics from pure hurricanes, with distinct implications for loss estimates. As such, the RMS model is both a hurricane and a transitioning storm model – the first of its kind in the catastrophe modeling industry. RMS announced the new model release at its “New Perspectives on Catastrophe Risk” client conference in Carlsbad, Calif. More than 400 insurance and reinsurance industry representatives are attending the conference to learn about the new models.

Taking advantage of significant advances in hurricane observational data and research over the past five years, the RMS U.S. Hurricane model uses ultra-high resolution modeling techniques and in-house research on storm behavior and building vulnerability. The model uses a proprietary, basin-wide event generation methodology to simulate hurricane events throughout their entire life cycle, providing a scientific foundation for determining the correlation of losses for storms that strike more than one region.

In addition, hurricane windfields in the model are calculated at 15-minute time intervals along the storm’s path, reflecting changes in wind direction, upwind surface roughness, and intensity as a storm passes. Additional losses associated with coastal storm surge inundation are also modeled for each storm at a resolution as fine as 100 meters. Losses for both wind and surge are calculated using new component-level vulnerabilities, differentiated based on state-level differences in building code requirements and enforcement.

Other new products being introduced at the RMS conference include:

* New versions of the RMS earthquake models for the western U.S. and western Canada;

* The RMS(TM) Offshore Platform model, which applies RMS’ probabilistic hurricane technology to assess risk to offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico;

* The RMS(TM) Builders Risk model, which enables underwriters to analyze earthquake and hurricane risk by phase of construction for the full suite of probabilistic U.S. catastrophe events;

* Upgrades to the company’s RiskLink(R) and RiskBrowser(R) software
platforms to enable the new models and incorporate new features
requested by users.

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