Karen Clark & Company Introduces WindfieldBuilder™

BOSTON, MA, May 20, 2013

Karen Clark & Company (KCC), independent experts in catastrophe risk, catastrophe models and catastrophe risk management, today announced the release of WindfieldBuilder™, an advanced scientific tool for creating hurricane tracks and wind speeds that can be licensed as part of KCC's RiskInsight® technology platform.

Already installed with top ten P&C insurers and global reinsurers, WindfieldBuilder enables these sophisticated companies to create realistic windfields for storms of their own creation as well as for actual storms in real time.

"We’re very pleased to release this advanced feature in time for the 2013 hurricane season because it's predicted to be an active year and our clients want to track actual storms and estimate their potential portfolio losses," said Karen Clark, President and CEO, KCC. "WindfieldBuilder gives them the power to create realistic footprints for hurricanes both before and after landfall and to conduct detailed claims analyses using their own loss experience. Because the vulnerability curves in RiskInsight are already visible and customizable, our clients gain competitive advantage by tailoring damage functions to their unique books of business."

WindfieldBuilder provides two options, Build a Track and Import a Track, for creating hurricane windfields and estimating hurricane losses. Build a Track lets users enter several important storm parameters, such as peak wind speeds and radius of maximum winds, and to build the storm track interactively. Users can select other storm features such as slow, medium, or fast filling—indicating the rate at which the hurricane winds dissipate over land.

"All storms lose energy as they travel over land, but the rate at which that occurs varies widely from storm to storm," said Glen Daraskevich, Senior Vice President, KCC. "For example, Hurricane Ike was an outlier in how slowly it dissipated after landfall. WindfieldBuilder shows how historical hurricanes have weakened over land and enables companies to directly test how different filling rates impact their portfolio losses."

Import a Track enables users to read in National Hurricane Center storm tracks and tracks they create. This provides maximum flexibility for varying storm parameters along the path. Once a track is imported into RiskInsight®, losses can be estimated for individual policies as well as for portfolios of policies. Wind footprints can also be superimposed on locations and TIVs to calculate exposure aggregations for different wind speed bands.

As an important module in the RiskInsight open platform, the storm footprints created through WindfieldBuilder are fully visible to the user. This transparency enhances the user experience and understanding of the physics of hurricanes. Users can see the impacts on the storm footprints of changing filling rates, peak wind speeds, and other sensitive variables such as radius of maximum winds.

"The transparency of WindfieldBuilder allows for proper external peer review and puts companies at a competitive advantage relative to peers using only the traditional vendor models," continued Ms. Clark. "Rather than relying heavily on event catalogs that may not be credible and that can change significantly from update to update, industry leaders are now using WindfieldBuilder to more effectively leverage their own internal expertise and outside experts of their choosing."