AIR: new way to model glass loss from storm damage

Risk modeling company AIR Worldwide Corporation has announced a new catastrophe-modelling service to assess potential insured losses to flat glass in the event of a storm.
The service was developed i…

Risk modeling company AIR Worldwide Corporation has announced a new catastrophe-modelling service to assess potential insured losses to flat glass in the event of a storm. The service was developed in collaboration with USPlate Glass, the largest monoline glass insurer in the United States. AIR“s glass-modelling capabilities cover commercial, condominium/apartment, churches and residential buildings. A range of glass types is also covered, including annealed, tempered, impact resistant and stained glass. “Most property policies exclude or severely limit coverage for glass breakage, yet glass is one of the most vulnerable components of a building during a hurricane,” said Joel Cohen, president of USPlate Glass. “AIR“s analysis of our portfolio greatly enhanced our risk-management processes. Previously, there was considerable uncertainty regarding our actual exposure to hurricane risk. Now, using results from the AIR analysis, we“ll be able to secure reinsurance at more competitive rates and have more confidence in our own pricing strategies.” AIR“s modelling methodology uses a load-resistance approach for estimating the vulnerability of glass. The effects of wind pressure and windborne debris, as well as the resistance of various types of glass, are modelled using probability distributions, the parameters of which are estimated from established building standards, such as those of the American Society of Testing and Materials and the American Society of Structural Engineers. AIR also used results from wind-tunnel studies and recent wind-engineering research. To generate loss estimates, AIR combines information on the windstorm hazard with information on the property, including building height, occupancy, glass type, size and thickness. Mitigating factors, such as shutters of various configurations, are also taken into account. “Glass can play a very important role in maintaining the structural integrity of buildings exposed to hurricane force winds and it can be very expensive to replace,” said Dr Atul Khanduri, AIR“s manager of wind-risk modelling. “AIR“s modelling methodology, which was validated using detailed claims data from USPlate Glass, captures the response of glass to pressure, suction and debris loads. For the first time, companies can analyse in much greater detail the effect of glass losses on a portfolio.”