South African specialist insurer New National Assurance has signed an annual agreement  with flood risk modeller JBA Risk Management to use its flood data.

Besides leveraging the data on climate change intelligence to underwrite commercial as well as personal lines property-risk, the insurer is making the flood maps accessible to its 60-network of brokers as well as delegated authority underwriting agents.

Via this partnership, New National Assurance will gain access to JBA Risk Management’s 30m resolution maps to derive both baseline and future insights into surface water and river flooding in the entire country, along with pricing data. 

JBA’s online platform FLYvis will provide the insurer and its brokers access to data and insights.

Flood is a growing problem in the country, and JBA Risk Management’s latest data insight shows that high-emission climate change scenarios could lead to a 50% increase in annual average losses (AAL) from inland floods by 2050.

In April last year, floods in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) killed more than 440 people, destroyed 4,000 homes, and displaced 40,000 people besides damaging critical infrastructure. According to the KZN government, the cost of damage is estimated to be over ZAR17bn ($930m).

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New National Assurance head core operations KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Athaf Rajab said: “In a changing climate flood risk intelligence is an essential element to understanding the challenges of the future. The high-resolution global flood maps and data from JBA risk management will provide us with real insight into flood risk across the country now and in future scenarios differentiating us in the market.

“Extending access to these tools to our brokers and underwriting intermediaries will ensure they can provide their clients with critical insights into their own exposures and help them plan for the future.”

JBA risk management re/insurance specialist Haydn Marchant said: “New National has shown real foresight in opening up our data to its broking partners and underwriting agencies. We are delighted to be working with them.

“The reality is that climate change is bringing real change, and the more flood risk is understood the more individuals and businesses will have insight into the risks they face, will be able to plan ahead, identify insurance solutions and where appropriate take mitigating action.”