Verisk Climate and HSB Offer New Technology to Assess Risk from Electrical Blackouts

Publish Date: October 18, 2013
Article Source: Verisk Climate and HSB joint press release
Article Link:

Note: Please see Blackout Risk Model to learn more about the technology and service.

Hartford, Conn., and Lexington, Mass., Oct. 21, 2013 – Verisk Climate and The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) today introduced new technology and consulting services that help insurers and businesses predict the likelihood, severity, and financial exposure of U.S. electrical blackouts, which cause more than $100 billion in economic damages each year.

The Blackout Risk Model™ is offered through a consulting service provided by Verisk Climate and HSB. The technology can be used to assess the risk of electrical blackouts from hurricanes, winter storms, severe thunderstorms, peak power demands, human error, and other factors. The technology incorporates data and analysis from HSB and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a unit of Verisk Climate, including a database of possible weather conditions, satellite analysis of trees near distribution lines, proprietary knowledge of the electrical grid infrastructure, and detailed economic data.

“Until now, it was not feasible for a retailer or manufacturer to conduct a quantitative cost-benefit analysis associated with backup power facilities and emergency response actions,” said Kyle Beatty, president of Verisk Climate, a division of Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK). “By applying this technology, businesses can gain insight into the potential for their distributors or suppliers to lose power based on where they are located within the electrical grid network.”

The Blackout Risk Model will help insurers, businesses, and government emergency planners identify high-risk areas so they can better manage their risk and plan for a more effective response when power is disrupted by natural or man-made events.
“The new Blackout Risk Model provides technology and services that will help insurers calculate their accumulated risk and loss potential,” said Robin Luo, vice president of HSB, part of Munich Re. “We’ve been modeling electrical blackout risk internally for a decade. Now, insurers will benefit from the enhanced technology developed by our joint teams.”

The new modeling tool, which combines the technologies built independently over the past decade by HSB and AER, enables businesses to assess how electrical blackout risk varies by geographic region or grid area, the number of people and businesses likely to be without power in a particular blackout, and how long the outage might last for specific groups of customers. Blackout Risk Model™ is a trademark of HSB and Atmospheric and Environmental Research, Inc.