Flood is one of the most devastating catastrophic perils, in which a single event can create tens of billions of dollars of loss. It is also one of the least insured perils, affecting people in every part of the United States. Advanced risk models now provide granularity, assessing flood risk at local levels. Such technological development presents insurers the opportunity to offer affordable, risk-based coverage within a private insurance market. Milliman colleagues Nancy Watkins, Matt Chamberlain, Andrei Stoica, and Garrett Bradford offer perspective in this video.
To learn more about Milliman’s flood expertise, click here.
Advances in catastrophe models and new state insurance regulations have opened the door for an affordable, risk-based private insurance market in Florida. This reading list highlights articles focusing on various issues and implications related to the market. The articles feature Milliman consultants Nancy Watkins and Matt Chamberlain, whose knowledge and experience is helping insurers to understand and price flood risk more precisely.
Nancy Watkins, a principal consulting actuary for Milliman, likened the current level of interest from insurers to enter the private flood insurance market to popcorn.
“We are at that stage where you can hear the space between pops. You can hear one kernel at a time,” she said. “What I think is going to happen is, in one to two years, there’s going to be a lot more going on.”
• Bradenton Herald: “Important for homeowners to compare flood insurance options”
Florida homeowners must consider the issues related to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private flood policies. Private insurers can use predictive modeling technology to determine a home’s distinct flood risk.
Insurers have been cautious about reentering the homeowners flood insurance market, which is due to high risks related to floods. In his Best Review’s article “High water mark,” Milliman’s Matt Chamberlain discusses the reasons behind the industry’s trepidation. He also provides perspective on how geographic information systems (GIS) can help insurers develop granular rating plans. Here is an excerpt:
There are several reasons why flood has been considered an uninsurable risk. First, flood is a localized peril; a distance of a few hundred feet, or less, can make a large difference in risk. This produces an information asymmetry, because the insured has a clear understanding of the local topography, while the insurer does not. The insured knows how far the house is from water, and whether it is on the top of a hill or if it is in a depression.
Insurers, on the other hand, typically use large rating territories for homeowners insurance, in some cases larger than a county. If these territories were to be used for flood insurance, it would create the potential for adverse selection. Insureds that were at highest risk of a flood would be most likely to want the coverage, and if insurance companies do not have a means of distinguishing higher-risk from lower-risk policies, anti-selection would result….
Geographic Information Systems, when coupled with the new flood catastrophe models to provide a very granular rating plan, may help insurance companies overcome these risks. Territories can be based on “hydrological units,” or watersheds, so that areas that water is not likely to flow between are not grouped together. Within a territory, appropriate rating factors are distance-to-coast (relating to storm surge risk), distance-to-river/stream (relating to river flood risk), and elevation (because all else being equal, there is lower flood risk at higher elevations).
Using all of these rating factors produces a rating plan that is able to distinguish different levels of risk even among points that are near each other. This produces true risk-based pricing that is likely to be sustainable in the long run. The top map at right shows this approach and compares it to the traditional method of rating flood insurance used by the NFIP, shown at bottom.
The video below presents an example of how GIS can improve pricing strategy.
Predictive analytics enable organizations to identify their most profitable and expensive customer groups. These tools analyze business data and processes to help executives make informed decisions. The following videos highlight Milliman’s predictive analytics solutions.
Hurricanes and analytics: A 21st-century approach to pricing
• Matt Chamberlain discusses how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to price hurricane risk. To learn more about how geocoding can lead to more accurate pricing, read this article.
Improving claim analytics through text mining
• In this video, Phil Borba explains how text mining can reveal valuable information hidden in the narratives of auto insurance claims that could lead to improved underwriting practices.
Milliman Datalytics-Defense: A new approach to understanding defense costs
• Milliman Datalytics-Defense analyzes data related to litigation costs to help businesses develop more effective claims defense strategies. Milliman actuary Chad Karls offers perspective in this video.
For more information about Milliman’s predictive analytics solutions, click here.
Predictive analytics enables companies to identify their best- and worst-performing customer groups by helping them enhance their decision-making processes.
In this short film, Milliman consultants Nancy Watkins, Matt Chamberlain, Peggy Brinkmann, and Sheri Scott discuss how predictive analytics can uncover value in new and expanding data sets. They also discuss how insurance companies can use the technology to improve their pricing and underwriting practices as well as increase profitability.