New climate-focused ground risk assessment tool

Ground risk assessment specialist Terrafirma has launched National Ground Risk Model (NGRM): Climate, designed to help insurers understand how ground risk may impact their properties they insure in a changing climate.

NGRM: Climate includes a map of ground risk data which enables insurance firms to understand the full range of risk to the properties they insure as the climate changes. It will also mean they can meet the demands of the Bank of England and the PRS under its 2021 Biennial Exploratory Scenarios (BES) to understand climate-related financial risks. The objective of the BES is to test the resilience of banks, insurers and the financial system to different climate pathways, which insurers need to prepare for by June 2021.

It combines geological, soils, mining, coastal erosion, landslide and climate data with nine of the Met Office’s UK Climate Projections (UKCP18) emissions scenarios and provides lenders with easy-to-understand risk scores. It aims to provide expert insight into ground risk severity at single property or land parcel-level. It also includes a new coastal hazards model, which illustrates the projected impacts of rising sea levels and increased erosion on coastal property and land.

Tom Backhouse, Terrafirma CEO and founder, said: “This release is a game-changer for understanding ground risk. It dramatically improves the quality, availability and accessibility of ground hazard and risk information for lenders. Across the UK, homes, infrastructure and land are at risk from complex ground hazards that can remain hidden for years. Everyday decisions worth millions of pounds are being made without true understanding of the consequences of these hazards, so Terrafirma set out to improve understanding of the ground and the complex ways it interacts with the built environment.

“We have worked on NGRM: Climate for 18 months to provide the first commercial model of its kind. The model has been engineered by geologists, soil scientists and geospatial data experts. It provides a foundation for insurance providers to make decisions with a greater understanding of the ground and issues that can affect the value of the property they are insuring, in a manner that is easy to understand. This will help them to make informed decisions without needing to be ground risk specialists themselves.”

The product makes it possible to access ground risk information for every property, parcel of land and asset in the UK. It enables scalable analysis of ground risk on all 29m properties, 50m structures and 30m land parcels in the UK to provide baseline for understanding how ground risk can impact property.

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