Coastal Storm Model Would Settle Wind vs. Water Debate

Chris Westfall
Chris Westfall

The U.S. government would be responsible for creating a catastrophe model to measure storm surge and windspeeds that would eventually act as referee between private insurers and the government-backed flood insurance program in post-hurricane claims battles, according to the details of the legislation.

According to the text of the Consumer Option for an Alternative System To Allocate Losses Act of 2011 (COASTAL Act) released Tuesday, the government would develop “a generalized assessment model for determining the magnitude and temporal and spatial variations of storm surges and wind speeds associated with named storms.”

The so-called “Named Storm Event Model” would be required to generate post-event assessments with “a degree of accuracy of not less than 90 percent for every indeterminate loss,” the legislation says. The legislation also calls for the creation of a database” that would house model data.

The model would be used to “allocate losses” considered an “indeterminate claims”

“The formula would be applied on a property-by-property basis so individual engineering characteristics of each home would be taken into account,” said a statement from bill sponsor Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) “This would allow accurate insurance awards when no tangible evidence remains after a hurricane.”