Opta Information Intelligence launches Wildfire Grading Index

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Study by Fire Underwriters Survey division develops new model

Toronto, ON (June 12, 2017) – The devastating losses in Kelowna, Slave Lake and Fort McMurray have led to a deeper understanding of the Wildfire Urban Interface Fire Risk in Canada. Fire Underwriters Survey (FUS), a division of Opta Information Intelligence, has studied these events and developed a new model for insurers to better understand the risk of wildfire-related losses.

For more than 100 years, FUS has published the Canadian Fire Insurance Grading Index, helping insurers understand and manage fire risk exposure. The new Wildfire Grading Index follows the same principal concept. The system provides standardized risk benchmarks for all areas of Canada using the best available technologies including GIS, geodatabases, weather databases, historical data, digital satellite imagery and advanced analytics tools. Local and provincial stakeholders can lower exposure by managing risk proactively.

Canadian insurers have requested that this Index be created to help manage the wildfire peril in terms of the risk of large losses for insurers as well as helping communities better understand and manage their risk. FUS is working with Partners in Protection and will seek input from the provincial forest management agencies to establish the criteria for how mitigation and suppression capacities are scored.

By creating an Index in a format that the Canadian insurance community is already familiar with, insurers can influence local communities to invest in effective mitigation practices, early detection systems and suppression capacity that will impact the resilience of the communities in the face of an increasing wildfire risk, and reduce the probability of catastrophic wildfire events in the future.

“This is another example of the Fire Underwriters Survey and Opta providing crucial fire protection data for Canadians,” says Greg McCutcheon, President of Opta. “We take great pride in helping insurers and all Canadians prepare and combat fire risk exposure.”

The new Canadian Wildfire Grading Index will be released in British Columbia and Alberta in mid-2017, with a full rollout nationwide by year’s end.

About Opta

Opta Information Intelligence is Canada’s largest aggregator of property risk information and leading provider of property intelligence and innovative technology solutions for insurance and corporate industries. Opta helps you access, understand, and synthesize previously inaccessible information, turning it into intelligence that helps to discover and understand business risks. Visit www.optaintel.ca.

SOURCE: Opta Information Intelligence