KCC Releases US Winter Storm Reference Model, a New Multi-Peril Model

Boston, MA—January 11, 2021

Karen Clark & Company (KCC) is pleased to announce the release of the KCC US Winter Storm Reference Model. Using a physics-based modeling methodology, the new KCC model accurately captures winter storm loss potential from snow and ice, freezing temperatures, and high winds.

“Winter storms are challenging to model, both due to their meteorological complexity and the different perils possible within each storm,” said Glen Daraskevich, KCC Senior Vice President. “KCC implemented a multi-peril approach when developing the Winter Storm Reference Model that includes three sub-perils: wind, freeze, and snow and ice accumulation. On average winter storms cause nearly $3 billion in insured loss annually and can cause over $20 billion in extreme events, so it’s critical to capture the impacts accurately.”

“The model incorporates different classifications of winter storms, not just your typical Nor’easters, but also Arctic high-pressure systems because freezing is known to be incredibly damaging,” said Dr. Sara Sienkiewicz, KCC Senior Meteorologist. “Each meteorological system has unique storm characteristics with key differences in the location and intensity of expected perils. To model winter storms accurately, KCC scientists combined advanced numerical weather prediction (NWP) data and techniques with historical winter storm climatology.”

“The benefit of using NWP is that we can capture the specific atmospheric conditions that lead to each sub-peril,” said Dr. Daniel Ward, KCC Senior Meteorologist. “We’ve reproduced 35 historical events and generated over 19,000 additional events with NWP techniques to create a stochastic event set that represents potential future winter storms that are meteorologically feasible but have not yet occurred. For each event, three high resolution footprints are generated: one for snow and ice accumulation, one for wind, and one for freeze.”

“The KCC US Winter Storm Reference Model also includes Live Event coverage, which insurers use to anticipate their claims and losses from actual storms as they are unfolding,” said Chris Mossey, KCC Vice President, Client Development. “KCC meteorologists monitor the daily weather and develop event footprints for major events so insurers can proactively track the annual aggregate losses from winter storm activity against their portfolio of risks.”

“KCC consistently brings new models to the market that result in more accurate and reliable loss estimates, and we’re looking forward to using the new winter storm model,” said Tom Libassi, Cofounder and Managing Partner of ILS Capital. “The KCC models provide insight into the geographic spread of our risk to specific perils and lets us visualize areas where we might be vulnerable to large losses using the tools built into RiskInsight®.”

The KCC US Winter Storm Reference Model is implemented on the RiskInsight® open loss modeling platform, and all components are transparent to model users. In addition to winter storm, KCC has developed catastrophe reference models for hurricanes, earthquakes, and severe convective storms in over 20 countries. To learn more about the KCC US Winter Storm Reference Model or other KCC products and services, contact info90410@karenclarkandco.com.

About Karen Clark & Company


Karen Clark & Company (KCC) provides advanced models, innovative software, and comprehensive consulting services for deeper insight into catastrophe risk. KCC professionals are globally recognized experts in catastrophe modeling and risk management who work with (re)insurance company executives to enhance business strategies, competitive advantage, and financial results. KCC catastrophe models currently cover tropical cyclones, extratropical cyclones, severe convective storms, winter storms, floods, and earthquakes in over 20 countries. For more information, please visit www.karenclarkandco.com.