Business News: AIR Worldwide, RGL, Encompass

August 23, 2018

AIR Worldwide Releases Updated Wildfire Model for the United States

Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR) released an updated Wildfire Model for the United States. The model is designed to provide a comprehensive view of the risk of wildfire to property within the 13 westernmost conterminous states. The event-based modeling approach accounts for the variability in weather in the current climate regime and its impact on fire behavior, enabling the model to simulate correlated countrywide wildfire activity. AIR Worldwide is a Verisk business.

The model features a catalog of fire clusters and a historical event set that features 17 events, including the 2017 Tubbs/Atlas and Thomas fires in California. Each cluster consists of fires ignited within 150 miles of one another over a period of seven days. AIR uses historical fire data to characterize fire behavior in different ecological regions of North America, known as ecoprovinces, and uses unique spread models based on recent scientific approaches to create stochastic fires for each of these regions.

This enhanced wildfire model probabilistically simulates how fires spread into areas based on wind speed and direction, availability of fuels, terrain, and likelihood of suppression. It explicitly accounts for the different ways fires spread, including fire branding and spotting. The model calculates flame length at each time step, which is directly correlated with the intensity of the fire and thus is used to estimate the severity of its damage. Based on these criteria, in conjunction with constantly evolving wind conditions and suppression efforts, the model can determine how and where the fire may progress across the landscape.

The wildfire model also accounts for risk characteristics specific to wildfire-defensible space and NFPA’s Firewise USA communities.

The Wildfire Model for the United States is currently available in the Touchstone, Touchstone Re, and CATRADER catastrophe risk management systems.

Baker Tilly and RGL Forensics Announce Merger

Accounting and advisory firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and RGL Forensics, a global financial investigations firm, announce the merger of the two firms with an effective date expected by the end of the year. RGL will continue to operate under its current brand as the firms work through their integration strategy.

RGL is an international firm of accounting, valuation and technology professionals who are experts in discovering and defining financial value. RGL specializes in the quantification of economic damages and financial analysis in claims as well as disputes of all kinds. They provide comprehensive forensic accounting, fraud investigation and expert witness services to deliver financial clarity in the most complex situations.

The combination of RGL and Baker Tilly expands both firms nationally and gives Baker Tilly an international presence. Additionally, Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 147 locations, bolsters the combined firm’s international reach and ability to serve clients worldwide.

Encompass Offers Roost Kits to Policyholders

Encompass is offering a limited number of Roost safety kits hat monitor for fires, leaks and frozen pipes to help customers keep track of what happens in their home while they are away. The two companies are working together to bring Roost’s Home Telematics Program (HTP) to Encompass policyholders to help them take action faster and try to reduce damage when certain property accidents happen.

The kits will be available to a limited number of policyholders and include the Roost Smart 9V Battery (for smoke alarms) and the Roost Smart Water Leak and Freeze Detector. The devices deliver notifications to customers’ smartphones when a suspected water leak or fire occurs. A co-branded mobile app will help policyholders manage the Roost devices.

Encompass is Roost’s third insurance industry member participating in the HTP.

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