Catastrophe risk modelling solution of the year: Reask

The winner of catastrophe risk modelling solution of the year has used cutting-edge technology to develop a novel technique that is showing potential to fill growing protection gaps against natural catastrophes.

Metryc, a global tropical cyclone parametric calculation agent from risk modelling firm Reask, was launched in 2021 and already has clients.

One of InsuranceERM's independent judges described it as "an innovative product, that closes market gaps, and with a complete peer-reviewed methodology disclosure. What's not to like?"

Parametric insurance, where the claim pay out is linked to a predefined trigger rather than post-loss assessment, is acclaimed for its ability to improve the efficiency and clarity of insurance contracts, and allow for faster pay outs.

The approach is also well suited to the growing digitalisation of the insurance industry. But its growth has been somewhat limited by the lack of access to suitable triggers.

A typical use-case for parametrics is coverage against catastrophic hurricane losses. The trigger is usually wind-speeds exceeding a certain threshold, which relies on on-the-ground measurements that are often incomplete, slow to disseminate and simply don't exist outside the most developed countries.

The industry has developed detailed hazard intensity methodologies to try and build a better picture of wind-speeds across a cyclone-affected area, but these only work in regions where extensive observation data is available.

Reask's innovation has been to create a probabilistic modelling system designed to capture the distribution of surface wind-speeds at landfall, and use that capability to formulate triggers for parametric insurance contracts.

The foundation of the modelling system is a unique wind field model, developed using machine learning technology. In the event of a tropical cyclone, Reask uses the model to simulate the event immediately post-landfall and provide information on cyclone intensity "in a fraction of the time of traditional estimates, with greater accuracy and higher confidence," the company says.

A number of industry partners, including Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, are now using Metryc to expand their geographical coverage and deliver speedy and accurate settlements.