The Verisk Catastrophe Index created by risk information and analysis firm Verisk Analytics just over a year ago, has won an industry award naming it the Re/Insurance Initiative of the Year at the Worldwide Reinsurance Awards in London recently. The catastrophe index provides high resolution insured property loss estimates, by county and line of business, after catastrophes providing values which could be used as triggers.
The index values can be used to measure and trigger traditional reinsurance contracts or risk transfer contracts such as catastrophe bonds, industry loss warranties (ILW’s) and catastrophe derivatives such as swaps, options or futures. The index utilises data from ISO’s Property Claims Services (PCS) and risk modeller AIR Worldwide (both Verisk subsidiaries).
The awards judges felt that the catastrophe index provided detail and clarity after catastrophe events, they concluded that the index was flexible enough to adapt to individual companies and needs and robust enough to provide decent damage estimates across multiple perils, counties and lines of business.
It’s good to see this initiative win an award which will help Verisk to raise its profile in the market. We were excited when the index launched, and even more excited when Verisk launched a comparable index for casualty lines of business, the ISO Casualty Index. However we’ve been surprised that we haven’t seen this used in any high profile transactions yet. We’re sure that both the catastrophe and casualty indices will become widely used in cat bond and ILW transactions once the market has fully digested and understood their potential. We’ve spoken with a number of sponsors who have all expressed an interest in utilising these indices for future cat bond and derivative transactions.