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The Federal Emergency Management Agency has chosen AIR Worldwide’s inland flood and storm surge models for the United States to analyze loss potential for the National Flood Insurance Program.
A bill to reauthorize the NFIP, which is due to expire on Dec. 8, for five years is scheduled to be discussed in the House Rules Committee on Monday.
In licensing the AIR flood model, FEMA is leveraging a probabilistic modeling approach to assess the flood program’s overall risk and potential payouts to property owners, the Boston-based catastrophe modeling unit of Verisk Analytics Inc. said Monday in a statement. The model will also be used to help the NFIP evaluate actuarially sound rates for its policies and to assess the effects of major flooding events in real time, according to the firm.
“AIR is looking forward to assisting FEMA in its efforts to create safer, more resilient communities by reducing loss of life and property and lessen the financial impact of disasters on the nation,” Rob Newbold, executive vice president at AIR Worldwide, said in the statement. “Our models and software will help FEMA understand the NFIP’s exposure to flood loss, which will not only help evaluate effective insurance and risk-transfer alternatives, but also assess potential damage and losses as floods occur.”
The AIR U.S. Flood Model was released in 2014.
The failure of an effort to ensure private flood insurance coverage will be deemed comparable to government-provided insurance highlights the ongoing difficulty of reforming the National Flood Insurance Program despite its mounting debt and bipartisan recognition of the need for reform.