24 October 2019News

Hiscox launches augmented reality app to demonstrate increasing flood risk

Hiscox has developed a new app called FloodPlus AR that uses augmented reality to illustrate the growing flood threat to coastal towns and cities from rising sea levels.

The app illustrates the impact of predicted sea level rises on Greenville, a suburb of Jersey City in the US, using a virtual topographical map.

More homeowners are at risk from rising sea levels than people currently realise, said Hiscox. Its own analysis suggests that 8.8 percent of properties in Hudson County, in which Jersey City lies, could be flooded if global sea levels rose by 2.4 metres, which some climate scientists predict will happen by the end of the century.

More than a third (36 percent) of these are not in a national flood insurance program-designated special flood hazard area, meaning they aren’t mandated to buy flood insurance.

Dan Alpay, flood line underwriter for Hiscox London Market, said: “Rising sea levels represent a global threat, with the scientific consensus being that more communities and lives will soon be at risk from flooding.”

He said it is essential that coastal communities’ climate resilience is increased. “But for those discussions and preparations to begin, the scale of the threat needs to be better understood,” said Alpay.