RMS Launches New U.S. Hurricane Loss Index

June 3, 2008

Catastrophe risk modeling firm Risk Management Solutions (RMS) has launched a new index for assessing insured industry losses from U.S. hurricanes.

Named the Paradex U.S. Hurricane, it combines actual wind speeds at multiple locations with proprietary industry exposure data, according to RMS. Its insured loss estimates can be used by the insurance industry and capital markets to structure catastrophe bonds, industry loss warranties, and derivative contracts.

Paradex U.S. Hurricane offers industry loss estimates by region and line of business in nine identified hurricane-prone zones throughout Florida, the East Coast, and the Gulf Coast. In the event of a hurricane, wind speeds are obtained from a network of hurricane-hardened weather stations constructed by WeatherFlow, a leading provider of weather data. This data is then referenced against RMS insurance industry exposure and vulnerability curves to calculate final index values.

“Historically, the main difficulty in transferring catastrophe risk to the capital markets has been meeting investors’ need for standardization, objectivity, and transparency while simultaneously providing issuers with indices tailored to their specific risks,” stated Peter Nakada, managing director of RMS Consulting. “Paradex U.S. Hurricane is unique in that it is transparent enough to please investors, flexible enough to minimize basis risk for issuers, and efficient enough to satisfy both parties’ desire for a rapid settlement.”

In contrast to loss indices that poll insurers and reinsurers and take many months to settle while initial estimates are updated, the Paradex U.S. Hurricane index settles no later than 40 business days following the event.

Source: RMS

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