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JBA Risk Management calls for better understanding of US flood risk

US underwriters need a more detailed understanding of flood risk if they are to capitalise on the growing private insurance market, according to global flood mapping specialist JBA Risk Management, speaking at the launch of its first office in the United States.

According to Matt Reid, managing director JBA Risk Management USA, “The US catastrophe risk market has understandably been focused on hurricane and earthquake which are relatively less complex to model than flood. However, with the private flood insurance market opening up, there are gaps in most datasets which can lead to costly mistakes for underwriters looking to assess their risk.”

Mr Reid was speaking at the RAA conference in Orlando, Florida, which marks the launch of JBA Risk Management’s expansion in the US. Flood is the most widespread and prevalent peril in the US, but, according to JBA Risk Management, the insurance market does not have widespread access to detailed, up-to-date, high quality information that considers all sources of flooding.

JBA Risk Management is the leading provider of flood risk information in the UK and Canada, and it now aims to grow its presence in the US through its new office based in California. Its US flood maps are the most sophisticated on the market, and are the first to separately model surface water flood and river flood – an important distinction for effective underwriting. Unlike most available datasets, its models provide information on all US rivers regardless of size, include flood defence data, and are upgraded annually.

Mr Reid added: “We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in the US as we have so much to bring to this market. Unlike other catastrophe modellers, we are completely focussed on flood risk which will be invaluable to US insurers wanting to expand their flood coverage.”