South Africa’s New National partners with JBA for global flood data

Specialist insurer New National Assurance has signed an annual deal with JBA Risk Management for the use of its flood data for South Africa. The 50-year-old independent insurer will use the data, which includes climate change intelligence, to underwrite both commercial and personal lines property-risk. The insurer has also taken the unusual step of making the flood maps available to its 60-strong network of brokers and delegated authority underwriting agents.

The move will provide New National with access to JBA Risk Management’s detailed 30 metre resolution maps for both baseline and future insights into surface water and river flooding for a range of return periods for the whole of South Africa – along with pricing data. The insurer and its brokers will access the data and insights via JBA’s online platform -  JBA Vision.

Flood risk is a growing problem in South Africa – with the latest data insight from JBA Risk Management illustrating that under a high emission climate change scenario South Africa could see a significant 50% increase in Annual Average Losses (AAL) from inland flood by 2050. Only last year, April floods in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) claimed the lives of more than 440 people, saw more than 4000 homes destroyed and 40,000 people displaced with critical infrastructure badly affected. The KZN government has estimated the cost of the damage of that event at over R17bn.

In a changing climate flood risk intelligence is an essential element to understanding the challenges of the future. The high-resolution global flood maps and data from JBA Risk Management will provide us with real insight into flood risk across the country now and in future scenarios differentiating us in the market. Extending access to these tools to our brokers and underwriting intermediaries will ensure they can provide their clients with critical insights into their own exposures and help them plan for the future.
Althaf Rajab, New National’s Head of Core Operations KwaZulu-Natal (KZN)
New National has shown real foresight in opening up our data to its broking partners and underwriting agencies. We are delighted to be working with them. The reality is that climate change is bringing real change, and the more flood risk is understood the more individuals and businesses will have insight into the risks they face, will be able to plan ahead, identify insurance solutions and where appropriate take mitigating action.
Haydn Marchant, Re/insurance Specialist, JBA Risk Management

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