February 05, 2018 | IN Blog

Dude, Where’s My Coastline?

One of the most common usages of geospatial data in the insurance industry is a “distance to coast” calculation. The goal is to find out how far a location is from the coastline, then make underwriting and/or pricing decisions based on that data. Why? Because coastlines are right next to seawater. A cubic yard of seawater weighs 1728 pounds and can be mightily destructive.

As odd as this may seem, the problem is…what’s the coastline? For example, if your local marina is across the street from your home – but the “beach” is three miles away – which is the “shore?” Is the shoreline the place where salt water can rush into your home, or the nearest spot with problematic parking on a hot summer day?

This is a problem inherent to many low-lying areas across both coasts in the US but is especially prevalent in the Southeast.

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February 01, 2018 | IN Blog

HazardHub releases updated FireStationHub database with more than 54,000 station locations

HazardHub – the nation’s fastest-growing supplier of geospatial risk data – has announced the latest update to FireStationHub, the largest and most accurate fire station location database available.

Brady Foust, Chief Science Officer of HazardHub says, “When we originally released FireStationHub last year, we were thrilled to have developed the single best source of fire station data. Since then, we’ve been tracking every opening, closing and relocation of fire stations. The updated FireStationHub database reflects all of the changes we’ve seen through December 2017. It also represents a leap forward in cleaning up some of the data related to specific station locations. ”

Here are some of the statistics for the updated FireStationHub database –

Total Fire Station Locations:        54,344
New Stations:                                 58
Closed Stations:                             47
Spatial Modifications:                    220


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November 22, 2017 | IN Blog

How do you get a better handle on Storm Surge?

We’ve been hearing a LOT about Storm Surge and the devastating impact of surge for both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

While we won’t know the damages from either hurricane for awhile (although the damages of both storms are estimated in the tens of billions), we can help to answer one question – how can communities, insurers, and individuals be better prepared for the risk from storm surge?

The key step is to be aware. Knowing the risk of storm surge for a specific property – and mitigating those risks while the weather is good – can go a long way to making sure your property minimizes storm surge damages.

Storm surge models have improved drastically over the last several years, as topographical maps and satellite imagery have improved. Our SurgeMax model is one of the newest,

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November 17, 2017 | IN Blog

HazardHub releases HazardHub Flood

SAN DIEGO, CA –  HazardHub, the nation’s most comprehensive provider of hazard risk data, is proud to release HazardHub FloodTM, a new and powerful assessor of a property’s overall flood risk.

In the United States, flood assessment is usually left to the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA). While FEMA’s in/out assessments of flood zones are important, they can also be limiting due to aged flood maps, political considerations and communities simply not participating in FEMA’s Flood zone analysis. HazardHub Flood overcomes these issues by combining reams of highly granular data to provide an overall risk of flood regardless of a property’s FEMA Flood Zone rating.

HazardHub combines four critical elements in creating HazardHub Flood – source of potential flooding (river, pond, stream), elevation difference between the property and the potential source,

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September 21, 2017 | IN Blog

The Commercial Impact Of Hurricane Harvey On Harris County, Tx

By Dave Schmidt and Bob Frady

Abstract: OX2 Solutions united Oxxford Information Technology’s commercial banking risk insights with HazardHub’s “wetness” index to better understand the commercial impact of Harvey on Houston. This analysis revealed that a large percentage of Houston businesses are at risk of bankruptcy, or of simply going out of business, especially those in FEMA’s 100-year flood plain where recovery is going to require an extended period of time. Consequently, insurers and lenders should be taking into account these convergent risks when writing policies and loans. Absent that foresight, the impact of a natural disaster such as Harvey is sure to magnify the size of the storm surge affecting financial supply chains and the economy.

By identifying all the businesses in Harris County, TX (Houston area), based on location, and mapping those locations against FEMA’s floodplain maps as well as taking into account other elevation criteria,

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August 25, 2017 | IN Blog

HazardHub Data Shows More Than 500,000 Texas Homes and Businesses at Risk from Storm Surge

HazardHub shows more than twice the overall risk from competitive estimates – more than $77 Billion of property at risk.

With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on the Texas coastline, HazardHub has released data regarding the size and scope of potential storm surge damage from Texas hurricanes.

According to HazardHub, more than 250,000 homes and 17,000 businesses could be subjected to storm surge for hurricanes up to Category 3. If a hurricane should strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane (like the Galveston Hurricane of 1900), the number of homes potentially impacted would rise to nearly 367,000. If a Category 5 hurricane should hit Texas – which would be extremely rare, more than 500,000 Texas homes and businesses would be subjected to storm surge – more than double previous estimates.

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August 23, 2017 | IN Blog

The Three Little Pigs teach Risk Mitigation

The three most famous houses for risk exposure are the one made of straw, the one made of sticks, and the one made of bricks.  Occupied by our friends, the three little pigs.
These three houses face extreme local straight-line wind exposure courtesy of the Big Bad Wolf.  The key lesson taught by this fable is that the better prepared you are for risk exposure, the more likely it is that you’ll come out on the bright side after the risk has passed.  Unfortunately, we see it every day that some children and many adults did not heed this moral.
Enter HazardHub.
While HazardHub does not provide Wolf Based Wind Scores (WolfHubTM) we DO provide risk scores on just about every other bad thing that can happen to your home or business. We are strong believers in the power of mitigation.

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June 07, 2017 | IN Blog

Multi-Sourced Hazard Data – The Next Step in Underwriting

When a person applies for a mortgage in the US, credit reports are pulled from all three bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Why? Because a single bureau does not provide the whole story. When you’re lending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars it makes sense to find out as much as you can about the people borrowing the money. The lender wants the whole story.

When you’re underwriting the property doesn’t it make sense to get more than one perspective on its risk exposure? Everyone in the natural hazard risk exposure business collects different data, models that data differently, projects that data in different ways, and scores the information uniquely. While most companies start with similar base data, how it gets treated from there varies greatly.

When it comes to hazard data there are also three primary providers,

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