PERILS launches satellite flood data service

LONDON, Sept 11 Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:48am EDT

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LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) - A new service launched by insurance industry data provider PERILS will show real-time satellite images of flood damage during and after major flood events, the firm said on Monday.

Zurich-based PERILS launched the service with the European Space Agency (ESA) and a consortium of insurers and reinsurers including Munch Re, Allianz, Willis and Guy Carpenter.

Loss estimates by PERILS have been used as the index base for all main forms of industry loss-based insurance risk transactions - similar to the Property Claims Service (PCS) data now widely used in the United States.

The service produces data daily during a flood event. Four weeks after the flood, a map showing the maximum extent of the flooding during the lifetime of the event will be produced, helping reinsurers to assess the impact of the flood and prepare for claims pay-outs.

PERILS added sums-insured information for UK flood exposure in April 2012, and hopes to capture flood events in other areas during the next year, head of sales Edi Held told Reuters.

Insurance brokers Guy Carpenter and Willis Re called for flood risk to be better modelled by insurers at the reinsurance industry's annual meeting in Monte Carlo this week. Swiss Re has also called for a greater focus on flood insurance.

Flood risk is becoming a costly natural disaster for the insurance and reinsurance market. Last year's flooding in Thailand will cost the insurance industry $15-$20 billion, and was the most expensive of a spate of catastrophes in 2011.

PERILS was launched in December 2009 by insurers Allianz, AXA, Groupama and ZFS; reinsurers Munich Re, PartnerRe Ltd; Swiss Re; and reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter.

- To join the Thomson Reuters Insurance Linked Securities Community for more news and analysis, click here (Reporting by Sarah Mortimer; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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