How Insurance Companies Use Weather Data During Hurricane Season

  • May 11, 2018

Insurers and Hurricanes

NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018).

In 2017, there were 16 separate billion-dollar disaster events with a cumulative cost exceeding $300 billion. Three of these very disruptive, costly, and dangerous events were hurricanes: Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and Hurricane Maria.

While the smartest insurance companies use weather data all year long, hurricane season is definitely one of the most important times to participate in this practice. Weather data benefits insurers in a number of ways, from real-time event preparation to validating claims after a billion-dollar disaster. Keep reading to understand the profound advantage weather data provides insurers during hurricane season.

If you’re skeptical on if this hurricane season will even have any billion-dollar events, please join us for our free Tropical Outlook Webinar on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at 2 PM ET. During this interactive program, our Senior Meteorologist, James Aman, will walk attendees through our Meteorology Team’s forecast for this season.

Reserve your spot at the 2018 Tropical Outlook Webinar

Real-Time Event Preparation

Insurance companies use weather data for hurricane season
Sferic Maps showing Hurricane Harvey satellite images and NWS alerts together

The first way insurance companies use weather data during hurricane season is for real-time event preparation. Weather data enables insurance companies to prepare their staff as well as those they insure before any damage is done.

Our products gather real-time conditions from our network of over 12,000 global weather stations to provide the most accurate storm forecasts available, so insurance companies can estimate potential effects days before landfall. Weather solutions should offer insurers weather data layers like sea level pressure, wind speed, and total lightning detection in order to give the most comprehensive forecast that leads to the most comprehensive action plan.

It’s also imperative that tropical weather data is delivered to insurers in a way that works best for them. Options like weather visualization software, customizable alerts, APIs, and data streams are just a few delivery methods that work well for insurance companies as they prepare for hurricanes.


Post-Event Loss Assessment

Flooding in Houston, TX after Hurricane Harvey

Another way insurance companies use weather data during hurricane season is with post-event loss assessment. Unfortunately, hurricanes and other extreme weather events can have devastating impacts on developed areas, even with preparation.

Insurers and assessors can identify areas that require the most attention by consulting weather data from the storm. Accurate historical weather data enables insurers to see when and where conditions were most likely to cause damage so they can send personnel to the most critical areas first. This way, they can deploy catastrophe response operations, issue moratoriums, and predict financial impact faster than ever before.

Claim Validation

The final way weather data empowers insurance companies after hurricanes or other tropical storms is with claim validation. You want to trust those you insure when something as destructive as a hurricane damages property, but it’s your job to validate all claims. Weather data makes that easy.

Most weather intelligence solution providers can do a quick lookup into their historical databases to verify storm damage claims instantly. This saves time, money, and relationships for insurers and those they cover.

How Do You Mitigate Tropical Season Risks?

If you’re an insurance company that already has a plan in place to mitigate tropical season risks, please let us know about it in the comments section below.