Willis Re launches MENA flood model

Willis Re has launched a new flood model for the Middle East and North Africa region – thought to be the first of its kind for MENA – and enabling re/insurers to quantify their flood risk using a catastrophe model.

Floods are relatively common in the MENA region. Damage from floods can come from pluvial and fluvial flooding, with fluvial flooding being more predictable due to proximity to river networks.

Pluvial flooding is more unpredictable due to the arid desert environment which after intense rainfall may cause runoff and flash floods, particularly in urban areas where the soil is covered by impermeable man-made surfaces. This combined with Wadis (dry riverbeds) channels water after intense precipitation and causes unpredictable and localised flooding. These flood events have the capability to cause important economic and insured losses.

Natalie van de Coolwijk, CEO, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce the addition of the MENA flood model to our toolkit. Continued commitment to our clients and the region requires us to enhance our capabilities relating to the more tangible and frequently observed perils. These capabilities will only become more relevant as the landscape evolves and the effects of climate change become more apparent. Building a more robust view of risk for perils such as flood means we can tailor fit-for-future reinsurance programmes for our clients and more scientifically quantify impact on claims and reinsurance costs. Being able to give clients more comfort and certainty around reinsurance cover and costs is at the core of our purpose, ultimately contributing towards a better protected and more resilient insurance industry.”

This new model was developed with Willis Re’s in-house peril experts with leading flood specialists, KatRisk, and resources from the Willis Research Network. The latest flood hazard layers and loss aggregation methodologies are used to generate location level losses as well as portfolio outputs for a 50,000-year simulation period.

Currently the model covers Morocco, the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with further releases for Oman, Qatar and Egypt expected for the third and fourth quarter of 2021.

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