Insurers are able to create hurricane tracks and parameters themselves and estimate the damage to their exposures in a given region with a new release from Karen Clark & Company (KCC).   Karen Clark, president and CEO of KCC, says WindfieldBuilder differs from solutions offered by traditional catastrophe modelers because of the level of control and customization that it offers to insurers.   She says that in a traditional model, the modelers provide event catalogues, and insurers license the models to gain access to those predetermined events. “You can’t change the events or see how different storm parameters would change your losses,” she says.   In the case of a real-time event, such as Superstorm Sandy, Clark says modelers will send insurers prepackaged information for estimating the losses.   With WindfieldBuilder, Clark says users can create catalogues themselves. In the case of Sandy, she says, users would have been able to directly download the storm’s track from the National Hurricane Center, and then create wind speedsby location to calculate losses.   She says insurers can also build their own storm tracks using WindfieldBuilder and see the impact across risks in a given area. For example, a board or CEO could use the tool to see the impact of a Category 5 storm making landfall anywhere along the coast in the Northeast.   Users can also 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,” says Glen Daraskevich, senior vice president, KCC, in a statement. “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.”   Clark also says the tool can be useful in gauging the impact of climate change.“So if you believe climate change will cause hurricane wind speeds to increase,” she says, “you can take storms and assume wind speeds will be 5 percent higher, for example,” and run it through a given risk portfolio.

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