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PCS adds natural hazard & weather analysis to catastrophe bulletins


Property Claim Services (PCS) has teamed up with Verisk Climate, both units of Verisk Analytics, to add natural hazard and weather analysis maps of affected areas to its PCS catastrophe designation and loss estimate bulletins.

The PCS bulletins are already widely subscribed to be insurers and reinsurers in the property & casualty insurance and reinsurance industries as well as being used within the industry loss triggers of catastrophe bonds, industry loss warrants (ILW’s) and other risk transfer instruments.

The addition of detailed analysis from Verisk Climate on the natural hazard or weather event which caused a catastrophe to be designated will give insurers, reinsurers and subscribers to PCS’ bulletins another level of insight into loss events. PCS expects this will help claims departments to improve productivity as well as enabling a higher level of customer service.

In future, when PCS designates a catastrophe event the initial PCS Catastrophe Designation Bulletin can now have additional information such as a Verisk Climate Respond™ map providing weather information for the geographic area affected by the catastrophe event. Additional information associated with a catastrophe peril responsible for the designated event will be in included in the first bulletin.

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Joe Louwagie, assistant vice president, PCS, commented; “Integrating Verisk Climate peril maps and visuals into the PCS catastrophe bulletins meets a clear need for claims departments across the United States and Canada. The county-level Respond maps in the PCS bulletin can help insurers, reinsurers, and insurance-linked securities (ILS) market participants assess the severity of damage in the affected regions more quickly.”

“The catastrophe declarations issued by PCS serve an important function within insurer claim operations and are widely depended upon by investors and sponsors of insurance-linked securities,” added Kyle Beatty, president, Verisk Climate. “The Verisk Climate map shows the states and counties affected. This view is consistent with the full Respond service’s interactive and more detailed neighborhood-level analysis that claims departments embed in their operations to evaluate total effect on policies and reduce cycle time in verifying claims.”

It’s pleasing to see PCS leveraging the Verisk Climate division to augment its bulletins to provide more analysis and insight into catastrophe loss events it designates. The Verisk Climate division was formed as Verisk Analytics sought to respond to customers’ needs for new solutions to help them manage climate and environmental risks.

It would be very interesting, and potentially very powerful, to see Verisk Analytics integrating more of what its PCS, AIR Worldwide and Verisk Climate divisions have to offer to the insurance-linked securities and catastrophe bond space. A particularly interesting idea might be to leverage weather, climate and natural hazard data to create a new hybrid PCS trigger.

If Verisk Analytics could produce an index type trigger for cat bonds which required PCS catastrophe designation, plus a PCS reported industry loss, plus parametric factors on the weather, climate or natural hazard, it could further reduce the basis risk around index triggers.

Of course the sponsors or users of such a trigger would need to do their homework to design trigger points that most closely resemble its expected losses, but with AIR Worldwide in the Verisk Analytics stable as well that could certainly help to create a unified offering.

It will be interesting to see what Verisk Analytics does in future to leverage the wide array of expertise at the firm.

Joe Louwagie told Artemis; “This is the first of several visual enhancements we are planning to implement on the PCS platform in the United States and Canada, as well as any other markets we may enter. In the coming months, we hope to roll out more integrated visual tools that support post-event loss analysis and help insurers triage and manage catastrophe claims more effectively to serve their customers and manage loss expenses.”

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