May 30, 2013

Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), a unit of Munich Re, and Atmospheric and Environmental Research (AER), a unit of Verisk Analytics, have partnered to develop technology that insurers and reinsurers, commercial and industrial firms, and other businesses can use to assess blackout risk in the U.S.

The companies say that though blackouts cost $100 billion annually, utilities, businesses, and insurance companies lack a tool to calculate the financial consequences and assess potential losses.

[HSB's big data-driven home insurance product]

"Severe weather and other factors have increased the number and duration of blackouts, causing disruptions and economic losses to grow exponentially," said Greg Barats, HSB president and CEO, in a statement. "HSB and AER are commercializing the blackout risk data and technologies that our firms built, calibrated and applied within our businesses over the past decade. Our joint teams will now make it possible for stakeholders to plan for widespread blackouts caused by a broad range of perils to help clients minimize and manage the impact across all lines of business."

"New technology and tools are essential as weather events become more extreme and frequent, the power grid ages, and other risks threaten our power supply," added Ron Isaacs, AER president and chief executive officer, in the statement.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, ...