The AIR U.S. Hurricane Model has long been considered the industry standard. Since its introduction more than 25 years ago, the model has provided the most consistent, realistic and comprehensive view of U.S. hurricane risk available. In 1996, the AIR model became the first hurricane model to meet all the rigorous standards of the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, and it has been certified for use in Florida residential ratemaking every year since. It has also been used to support a wide variety of innovative insurance-linked securitizations representing billions of dollars.
But tropical cyclone risk is not confined to the U.S. AIR models tropical cyclone risk in 44 countries and territories across several ocean basins, as well as to offshore oil and gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, AIR estimates that average annual aggregate insured losses from tropical cyclones worldwide approach USD 25 billion.
AIR tropical cyclone models incorporate high-resolution data on elevation, topography, land use/land cover, and distance to coast. To produce estimates of industry loss, AIR develops a detailed industry exposure databases (IEDs) unique to each country based on the latest available information on risk counts and building characteristics from government offices and statistics bureaus. The models’ damage functions capture the response of the exposed structures and their contents to wind and, in some regions, precipitation-induced flooding and storm surge.
Hurricane Risk in a Changing Climate
The Earth’s climate is changing. Indeed, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and a consensus of most scientists, “...warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”
How our changing climate will affect tropical cyclone activity globally is an area of active research at AIR. While the attention of the wider scientific community has focused primarily on the effects of climate on hurricane activity in the open ocean, AIR is leading the way in quantifying the impact of changing sea surface temperatures on hurricane landfall activity and of course, ultimately, on insured losses.
AIR currently offers tropical cyclone models for:
- United States*
- Gulf of Mexico (for Offshore Assets)
- Antigua & Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Dominican Republic
- Netherlands Antilles
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barts, Saint Kitts & Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Maarten
- St. Martin
- St. Vincent & the Grenadines
- Trinidad & Tobago
- Turks & Caicos Island
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
*includes coastal storm surge
**includes precipitation-induced flooding