FLOAT: taking flood simulation to the next level

The economic cost of flood increases every year. Heightened by climate change, extreme weather events such as torrential rainfall and severe storms are making the situation worse. Worldwide, economic losses from disaster events in 2017 reached USD 330 billion. Insurance covered less than half of those losses, leaving a global protection gap of USD 192 billion. When companies are not insured, or are underinsured, they are far less able to bounce back and recover from a disaster.

How exposed are businesses around the world to flood risk? Swiss Re Corporate Solutions developed the flood assessment tool called "FLOAT" – a cost-effective and highly accurate simulation to assess and manage a location’s flood risk—to help answer that question. Current flood assessments are mostly based on data from satellites or aerial flights – a technique that produces two-dimensional maps. In many cases this data does not lead to a fully accurate, in-depth assessment of a specific location's flood risk. We at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions use drones or other digital data sources like CAD drawings for flood risk assessments to provide our clients with a realistic visualization using a state-of-the-art 3D game-engine. Our simulation of the risk exposure can provide ±4 cm horizontal and better than ±10 cm vertical accuracy. Our global servicing capabilities with companies such as Airbus Aerial Services enable us to create a customer-specific flood assessment in a timely and cost effective manner.

With this innovative service offering we teamed up with our clients to help them communicate internally and raise risk awareness in order to approve funding for flood protection measures. These solutions are available within very short time frames (only a few days) and include an interactive simulation showing potential vulnerabilities and low-points. Clients appreciate the quick turnaround, low costs and innovative approach aimed at mitigating their sites' flood exposures.

In combination with our longstanding NatCat expertise we offer an unrivalled risk assessment and help manage and mitigate our clients' risk to make their business operations more resilient.