Tag Archives: Nancy Watkins

FEMA selects Milliman to design new nationwide rating plan for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Milliman announced today that it has been selected by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide actuarial consulting services as part of a program to redesign flood insurance products across the NFIP.  At the forefront of innovation in flood risk, Milliman will provide state-of-the-art tools, technology, and analysis to FEMA in order to design a new rating plan for NFIP policies nationwide.

The NFIP is vital to protecting U.S. communities from flood loss, and has been offering flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and businesses since 1968. In the almost five decades since the program was created, technological advancements have greatly changed the methods for modeling and rating flood risk. With its choice of Milliman, FEMA can take advantage of innovative new rating techniques that will allow the agency to better understand and price flood risk on a granular level nationwide.

“The NFIP has a wealth of knowledge and experience with the flood peril, and their resources combined with our innovative technology will allow them to design a flood insurance solution for the 21st century,” says Nancy Watkins, a Milliman principal and project lead. “Our goal is to help modernize the NFIP’s insurance product, reflect industry best practices, and improve policyholder experience through increased transparency and a better understanding of risk.”

Watkins has published and presented frequently on flood risk, including briefing Congress, and was recently awarded the American Academy of Actuaries’ 2017 Outstanding Volunteerism Award for her work as a member of the Flood Insurance Work Group. To learn more about Milliman’s flood expertise, click here.

Infographic: What a private flood insurance market could look like in Florida

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma there’s been increased public attention to both government-sponsored flood insurance (the National Flood Insurance Program, offered through FEMA) and the potential rise of a private flood insurance market. In Florida, a recent analysis by the Associated Press found that of the state’s 38 coastal counties, only 42% of homes are covered by flood insurance. The same analysis found that of the roughly 2.5 million homes in Special Flood Hazard Areas, Florida’s overall flood insurance rate for hazard-zone homes is just 41%.

Flood risk continues to be one of the most difficult perils to price for the homeowners industry. More than any other catastrophic peril, flood risk varies over short distances; critical factors that contribute to flood risk include elevation, relative elevation, distance to coast, and distance to river. This spring, Milliman, along with risk modeling firm KatRisk, sought to independently model the feasibility of a private flood insurance market in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana. The infographic below provides some of our findings for all single-family homes in the state of Florida:

Milliman analysis indicates majority of single-family homes in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas could see cheaper premiums with private flood insurance

Milliman has announced the results of a first-of-its-kind study to assess the feasibility of a private flood insurance market in several key states across the United States. The study, which was conducted in collaboration with risk modeling firm KatRisk, set out to model private flood insurance risk and potential premiums for all single-family homes in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas—which combined account for 56% of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies in-force nationwide. The study includes all single-family homes in those states, not only those who are currently purchasing flood insurance from the NFIP, and the modeled NFIP premiums do not include the effects of grandfathering. The estimated private insurance premiums were developed using reasonable assumptions selected by Milliman.

Key findings include:

• For all single-family homes, 77% in Florida, 69% in Louisiana, and 92% in Texas could see cheaper premiums with private insurance than with the NFIP.
• In Florida, 44% of homes modeled could see premiums less than one-fifth that of the NFIP, while the same holds true for 42% of homes in Louisiana and 70% of homes in Texas.
• Conversely, private insurance would cost at least double the NFIP premium for 14% of single-family homes in Florida, 21% in Louisiana, and 5% in Texas.
• Across Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs)—the high-risk zones in which flood insurance is mandatory—private insurance could offer cheaper premiums than the NFIP for 49% of single-family homes in Florida, 65% in Louisiana, and 77% in Texas.

The catastrophic rainstorms in Louisiana in 2016 are one example of the devastating financial effect flood can have on communities outside mandatory purchase areas. “A thriving private insurance market would provide wider and in many cases less expensive options that could protect more U.S. consumers, expand the awareness of the need for flood insurance, and spread the risk beyond the NFIP,” the report says.

To view the complete report including additional findings and critical assumptions, click here.

Milliman Pixel

Milliman’s Pixel is a web-based, competitive analytics platform that helps insurers use objective and comprehensive information to grow their business.

In this video, Milliman actuaries Nancy Watkins, Peggy Brinkman, and Cody Webb discuss how Pixel helps insurers compare their premiums with those of competitors, identify market sectors where they might be experiencing adverse selection, and access competitive information needed to make sound pricing decisions.

To learn more about Pixel, click here.

Reading list: Florida’s private flood insurance market

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.

Forbes: “The private flood insurance market is stirring after more than 50 years of dormancy
The reemergence of private flood insurance has piqued the interest of carriers seeking to enter the market. Some catastrophe (CAT) modeling companies are creating flood models to help insurers price policies. Here’s an excerpt:

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.

Tampa Bay Times: “Remember the flood insurance scare of 2013? It’s creeping back into Tampa Bay and Florida
Real estate and insurance experts comment on the possible effects that high flood insurance rates may have on homeowners. Insurers express interest in the granular modeling of flood-prone territories.

Tampa Bay Business Journal: “Why some Tampa Bay property insurers are offering flood coverage and others are not” (subscription required)
Insurers need to weight the risks and rewards associated with the underwriting of flood insurance. A few carriers have already decided to participate in Florida’s private flood insurance market.

Bankers Insurance Group becomes latest property and casualty insurer to adopt Milliman competitive intelligence tool

Milliman today announced that Bankers Insurance Group has adopted Pixel™, a competitive intelligence tool for property and casualty insurance companies. Since launching in May, Pixel has provided a unique advantage for companies participating in the highly competitive and evolving Florida insurance market, and Pixel will soon be available in other states.

Pixel is a web-based, interactive platform designed to give marketing executives, product managers, and actuaries a comprehensive and customized view of the market. Companies can view their own data in Pixel, or they can license Milliman’s market baskets, which include competitor premiums for hundreds of thousands of policy profiles calibrated to represent various state markets.

“Our product managers are already reaping the benefits of this tool. It provides valuable insight to the market that allows us to target areas to grow our business where our rates are positioned well in the market while maintaining profitability” said Judy Copechal, President of Insurance at Bankers Insurance Group.

“Pixel is helping companies get ahead in the challenging Florida market,” said Milliman Principal Nancy Watkins. “These insurers face intense competition for market share and many stresses to their bottom lines. In this kind of environment having the best information makes all the difference, which explains the growing popularity of Pixel. In December alone, three insurers licensed Pixel.”

Pixel applies advanced data visualization and machine learning techniques behind the scenes in an easy-to-use tool that analyzes premiums for a given company relative to the competition. Users can filter markets by geography and type of risk, and drill down into the variables that most affect their competitive positions. Results are output in user-friendly data sets, charts, and maps that can easily integrate with other software. This information is useful not only in setting premiums, but also in arming agents with valuable insight and in supporting the regulatory process.

To read more about Pixel, click here.