Portfolio-level Analysis for Winter Storm Risks

The U.S. Winter Storm Model is a fully probabilistic risk model that allows clients to run portfolio-level analyses for residential, commercial and industrial risk related to winter storms in the U.S.

Comprehensive Stochastic Event Set

The U.S. Winter Storm Model uses a stochastic event set of more than 11,500 events. This event set includes an extensive catalog of winter storm historical events from different sources, such as the Solar Meteorological Surface Observation Network and hourly stations, Historical Climatology Network (HCN) and COOP stations.

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Robust Vulnerability and Hazard Definition

The vulnerability functions for the different structural occupancy types are based on extensive claims data collected from the reinsurance industry and observation data.

Three hazard parameters are incorporated in the model:

  1. Snow depth (major structural damage)
  2. Snow and ice thickness (light to minor damage)
  3. Wind speed (wind damage)

Damage Types

Three damage types are represented in the U.S. Winter Storm Model:

Roof Damage Due to Snow Accumulation:

No slide off (sheltered), Wind-blowing snow, "Lean-tos”, Shingled roofs, Roof valleys

Frozen and Ruptured Pipes Damage:

Crawl spaces, Outside walls, Floors, rugs and furniture

Ice Dam and Eave Icing

Ice formation on roofs and in gutters can prevent melting snow from draining. When temperatures drop, melted snow can re-freeze on eaves and create ice dams or icicles, which can block water and cause the water to seep into the home, resulting in damage.

Model Validation

The Winter Storm Model has been validated using historical PCS data and insurance companies’ historical claims data. It has also been favorably reviewed by Wayne Tobiasson, who has more than 30 years of research with Cold Region Research and Engineering Lab.

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Structure Risk and Valuation

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