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Verisk Expands Wildfire Risk Management Service to Three New States

Staff Writer | May 04, 2015

Verisk Insurance Solutions announces the addition of Montana, Oklahoma, and Wyoming to its FireLine wildfire risk management service. FireLine provides the detailed, up-to-date information insurers need to analyze wildfire risk at the individual address level.

FireLine uses advanced satellite data to assess the effects of the three primary factors that contribute to wildfire risk: fuel, slope, and road access. Fuel represents the vegetation surrounding the property, slope refers to the grade of the land upon which the property is built, and road access identifies potential barriers for firefighters to protect the property. For each address, FireLine provides a score for each primary risk factor and an overall wildfire hazard score.

"Even though it's difficult to predict precisely when and where wildfires will strike, insurers can better manage risk by knowing the relative wildfire risk of properties they insure," says Steve Lekas, vice president of property underwriting products at Verisk Insurance Solutions. "FireLine helps insurers manage wildfire risk at individual risk and aggregate risk levels.  And several state departments of insurance have acknowledged use of FireLine scores in segmenting pricing."

According to a FireLine wildfire risk analysis, at least 30 percent of all households in Oklahoma and Wyoming are at moderate to high risk of wildfire losses. In Montana, it's more than 50 percent.

"Working closely with insurers, we recognized the need to bring our leadership in satellite sensing and weather technologies to wildfire risk assessment in these new states," says Arindam Samanta, Ph.D., senior manager of underwriting products and analytics at Verisk Climate.

With the new additions, FireLine is now available for 13 states.

Additionally, FireLine data is used to produce state wildfire risk reports—a summary of the number of households exposed to wildfire risk—for the three new states, as well as for the ten original states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington. The 2015 reports for all 13 FireLine states are expected to be publicly available later in May. 

FireLine is part of the LOCATION suite of property products that provides accurate, essential data on every U.S. property to help insurers assess risk effectively and make sound underwriting decisions.

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