Model will enable the insurer to price risk with greater accuracy

Aviva has developed a flood model which estimates the damage that freak downpours can inflict on homes and businesses across the country.

The insurer already has a model for coastal areas and flood plains, but the new modelling takes into account the damage that surface run-off can inflict on towns and cities.

Aviva worked with hydrologist JBA Consulting, and used laser technology that recognises undulations as small as 15cm.

The computerised map was then ‘flooded’ to simulate a downpour, and this showed where the water fell and where it pooled.

Simon Black, head of flood mapping at Aviva, says the model is an important addition to the insurer’s knowledge of flood and its increasing risks.

“We know that the kind of intense rainstorms seen in 2007 and again in Cumbria in 2009 are likely to become more frequent as the climate changes.

“Continued investment in flood technology that recognises this increasing peril enables us to gain insight into who is a risk and who is not.

“This means that Aviva can offer the right price for the right risk. It actually gives us greater opportunity to write more business because we better understand that risk.”

Black said the technology would give Aviva “granular information”, potentially allowing it to be more competitive on pricing for areas with less risk. The change would allow the insurer to pick up more customers.

The technology could also pinpoint those householders at higher risk, meaning they could take preventative action if they wanted to.