Cross sector climate services through collaboration between the insurance sector, academia and research

WP2.3.2: Forest Demonstrator

Forest

Objectives

RiskFP is an existing prototype of a recent fire prevention tool, developed for fire prevention support to forest managers, involving geo-information and spatial data analysis, supported by Climate-KIC program (OASIS-FIRE, OASIS+, RiskFP projects). In this project, we will demonstrate its usefulness to the insurance sector. For this purpose, we will further adapt it to the end-user needs, in particular by technical adaptations (storm assessment, new damageability models, seasonal forecasting capability), and then by defining a suited business model coupled to the insurance premium itself as a product, explicitly on concrete business cases.

Description

The demonstration will consist in adapting and demonstrating RiskFP for the forest insurance sector. A previous market study (RiskFP market analysis, Climate-KIC pathfinder project 2015) has shown the relevance to address also the insurance sector for the RiskFP tool. In its current version, it already integrates:

  • webGIS user interface by Aria Technologies,
  • fire risk/spread on-demand web calculations by Tecnosylva, based on the methodology of the standalone “WildFireAnalyst™ product”,
  • bjective fire extreme weather by Aria Technologies, based on 20-years of European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF) climatology,
  • fuelmap produced by ONF-International,
  • extension of fire extreme weather to long-term climate fields by PIK.

If you want to see how it works, please watch the video. 

Several insurance end-users have already been contacted and have expressed interest for extending the use of RiskFP from its initial scope for forest managers to insurance actors. Further technical work is needed to adapt RiskFP to the insurance sector by adding features to cover more extensively the needs of the forest insurance sector:

  • storms and impacts assessment: RiskFP only accounts for fire risk currently, whereas both forest fires and storms are the two major damaging perils subject to get insured, so extension of RiskFP to storm hazard and damage will be performed, in the past/present, seasonal forecast and long-term projections;
  • wildland urban interface/infrastructure risk reduction assessment through on-demand web calculations incorporating the fire exposure model from Aix-Marseille University,
  • new impacts assessment: new damageability models will be developed to calculate new impacts of fires and storms on forests, not only for direct and merchant costs as done currently in RiskFP (accounted damages are currently only related to wood losses), but also for indirect costs (cost to recover structures or forest, loss of tourism frequentation in a burnt public forest...) and for non-merchant costs (loss of biodiversity, ecological services),
  • seasonal forecast: forest fires and storms can come back every new year at specific seasons, so seasonal forecast of such disturbances is crucial for insurers: a dedicated work will be performed to prepare good quality seasonal forecasts in RiskFP tool.

The demonstration of RiskFP in the insurance sector will be largely subject to co-creation: 

  • end-user will be engaged at earliest stages for setting up and running demonstrations of the tool: 
  • Willis is interested to help create a demonstration zone over planted forests in Australia or Canada, and we will build one additional demonstration site (Portugal, Canada or South Africa) inside the ForestRe insurance portfolio.

The 2 demonstrations will be run, showing past/present, next season and long-term evolution of fire risk using climatology and climate change. A new business model will be built, inferred from the specific business cases linked to the demonstrations. It will allow the insured forest management to get (a) access to insurance by demonstrating risk planning and knowledge; (b) and possibly a lower premium, certainly a premium that matches the risk real and as perceived when managers get more aware of the fire & storm risks.

Finally, the OASIS platform will be used for RiskFP-insurance as a business channel, and additionally work will be performed to interface RiskFP data (hazard, damages) with the technical OASIS platform.

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