Flood modelling in an era of climate change was the theme of our annual workshop with focus on “best practice in risk management of natural hazards” in April. We enjoyed the hospitality of the hydrology department at the Technical University of Munich and experienced a very informative day, learning about recent developments in the European NatCat insurance and reinsurance market. The presentations by scientists and industry experts and subsequent panel discussions sparked off productive debate in the lecture hall.
Best practice in mapping of natural hazards in Europe
The morning session was dedicated to assessing progress with “intelligent” mapping and zoning of natural hazards in several European countries. This involved work on HORA in Austria, recently released flash flood mapping in Switzerland, the new flash flood zones of ZÜRS in Germany and the preparation of the upcoming Danish Climate Atlas. All were four were examples of best practice whose development were triggered individually by different events and national challenges.After the presentations of intelligent mapping and zoning, a report about the impact of climate change on the Polish insurance industry provided a perfect transition to the second session about which explored new possible pathways of modelling in the insurance industry.
H2020_Insurance Future Danube Model – flood modelling in an era of climate change
The centrepiece this year was the presentation of the H2020_Insurance Danube model, work on which has progressed well. In contrast to many existing vendor models for risk assessment in the insurance industry the model is designed in a most transparent way enabling users to adapt it to their own needs on vulnerability functions or event definitions. The audience consisting of representatives from academia, local insurers and international insurance and reinsurance companies showed a keen interest in the work of the scientific risk modellers from PIK Potsdam and GFZ. Closely linked to this model approach is the project’s deliverable of implementation in the Oasis LMF framework. This open source catastrophe modelling platform enables the development, deployment and execution of cat models for stakeholders from academia or private sector by providing standardized formats and components leading to transparent outcomes. Dickie Whitaker (CEO of Oasis LMF) gave us important insights into this collaboration collaborative approach regarding data management and modelling.
Designing the change by collaboration
Finally the workshop resulted in fruitful panel discussions which were coined by different aspects of risk management of natural catastrophes. In the area of risk modelling collaboration and data sharing within the insurance industry and with science/academia were discussed. In the course of this further challenges to overcome disciplinary barriers were identified. The discussion of AI as a disruptive technology and an accelerator for risk management revealed some controversial views on its use and classification. The panel discussion about public private partnerships was dedicated to the scope of offers and funding that the European Union and its institutions can provide for public and private organisations to assist with the development of predictive analytics to measure the impact of climate change. These could open up further possibilities for the scalability of cooperative solutions for the insurance industry which has to face changes in risk patterns of natural perils induced by climate change.
We would like to thank all colleagues, speakers and participants for their contributions in creating this successful event and we hope to see you again next year in Vienna.
The G&Co Team