JBA releases new high resolution flood maps


JBA Risk Management, which specialises in flood risk science, has launched new property-level resolution US flood maps, which it claims to be the highest resolution available on the market at national scale.

The maps use enhanced machine learning techniques and are designed to enable the insurance industry to expand their coverage of US flood, a peril that has traditionally been held back by limitations in existing data.

The maps cover three major flood types at five metre resolution: fluvial (river flood), pluvial (surface water flood); and storm surge. They also use bespoke methods to capture hurricane scenarios where these flood types often occur simultaneously. 

Matt Reid, managing director at JBA Risk Management, said: “There’s a widely held perception that flood is too risky to write in the US, which results in the significant insurance gap.” He estimated that gap to be in the region of $10 billion. 

“Our new maps give insurers access to high-quality data which reflects the nuances of flood risk exposure for the entire contiguous US,” Reid added. “Property-level data are vital for urban areas, which have a high density of insured assets, so these maps are really changing the playing field.”

Rebecca Alexandre, global mapping specialist at JBA Risk Management,noted that flood risk is a particularly complex peril that requires more detail than other perils. “A flood event can devastate some properties on a particular street while leaving others entirely unharmed,” she explained. “A lack of detailed data has therefore left a huge gap in the market.” 

She added: “Writing flood no longer needs to be risky; now is the time to capitalise on the opportunity.”


JBA Risk Management, Flood, Matt Reid, Rebecca Alexandre

Bermuda Re