Swiss Re and ICEYE join efforts to improve flood modelling and support disaster management globally

The world leading insurance and reinsurance provider Swiss Re recently partnered with the commercial synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellite operator ICEYE to improve flood modelling and support disaster response efforts around the world.

A flood is a broad term that refers to “the overflow of water from a stream channel into normally dry land in the floodplain (riverine flooding), higher-than–normal levels along the coast and in lakes or reservoirs (coastal flooding) as well as ponding of water at or near the point where the rain fell (flash floods)“. Floods can pose a severe risk to natural environments, communities and their assets, agricultural areas, infrastructure and they are one of the most frequent and destructive natural hazards in the world. In this regard, EO data has the potential to provide important information on floods that can be used in all phases of the disaster management cycle. More information on tools working with EO data to manage floods can be found here.

Floods in Haiti. Image: UN Photo/Logan Abassi
Floods in Haiti. Image: UN Photo/Logan Abassi

Swiss Re recently partnered with ICEYE in order to contribute to flood risk management through improved risk transfer alternatives. Insurance and reinsurance providers such as Swiss Re can play an important role in the “financial management of flood risk by spreading the risk across domestic and international (re)insurance and capital markets and reducing the share of losses absorbed by households, businesses and governments“. The new partnership with ICEYE will improve Swiss Re’s flood modelling capabilities and strengthen its ability to support disaster response efforts around the world. Access to ICEYE’s flood monitoring capabilities, such as “SAR data on flood events on a global basis, high accuracy observation-based flood maps, snapshots of the developments of individual floods, and water depth estimations within 24 hours”, will support flood modelling in challenging locations and allow Swiss Re’s clients “faster loss assessment and payouts”. While the partnership currently addresses floods only, it could soon include other natural hazards such as wildfires, storms and earthquakes.

Pranav Pasricha, Global Head of P&C Solutions at Swiss Re, welcomed the new partnership in an official statement to the press: “We’re very pleased to announce the strategic partnership with ICEYE. By combining Swiss Re’s risk knowledge with ICEYE’s data, we will be able to further expand our capabilities in geo and remote sensing. The partnership will enable us to develop solutions, advance our services to the benefit of our clients and enable faster claims payouts. We see this as an important commitment for a serious natural catastrophe threat and think it could become a real game changer”.

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