The Institutes Announce Helix, New Advisory Board Focused on Natural Catastrophe Resilience

The Institutes

MALVERN, PA — In an effort to advance resilience from natural catastrophes, a group of U.S. insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries, and model providers are forming an advisory board named Helix™ facilitated by The Institutes. Seeking improved application of science, data, operations, and technology, Helix will contribute to the insurance industry’s focus on providing ever-improving resilience and economic stability in a healthy and competitive marketplace, and reducing or closing existing protection gaps.

Initially building on work to implement open common data standards for catastrophe risk analytics, the Helix vision is grounded on four interwoven pillars targeted at advancing the industry’s increasingly diverse and expanding capabilities:

  • Climate and Resiliency — pursuing hazard and resilience research, and advocating for innovation in insurance products and economic responsiveness
  • Data —data standards, data content/interpretation/quality, and industry-level data resources
  • Technology — transparency in models and analytics, Insurtech innovations, and technology solutions
  • Operations — common industry tools, improved communication/exchange across the value chain, and support/education for the industry

Helix will primarily serve the U.S. market while collaborating with parallel efforts addressing catastrophe risk analytics issues globally, such as those undertaken by the Insurance Development Forum and the Open Data Standards Initiative.

The insurance industry is increasingly challenged to provide economic resilience in the face of shifting patterns in demographics, risk concentrations, and climate hazards, and the consequential escalation in natural catastrophe loss volatility. These challenges are pronounced for companies insuring interests in the U.S., a significant marketplace with broad, varied, and acute catastrophe exposure. Helix will contribute to global, communal efforts to improve fundamental operating issues in catastrophe risk analytics practices to better address these challenges.

Helix builds on the work of the Catastrophe Modeling Operating Standards (CMOS) initiative. The CMOS team completed a survey project in September 2020 to successfully operationalize an open common exposure data standard. This project also provided a set of recommendations for the community to advance and progress the ongoing work. The summary report and recommendations can be found at https://lp.theinstitutes.org/helixcmos.

“Helix is an opportunity for The Institutes to facilitate bringing the industry together and to serve as a neutral third party in work on this important issue that ultimately benefits the general public. We are excited to help coordinate this effort focused on mitigating the adverse effects of natural disasters,” says Peter Miller, President and CEO of The Institutes.

“Based on the interest in and success of the CMOS, it is clear there is a desire for an industry-wide, cooperative effort focused on resilience from natural catastrophes. We’ve received strong interest in creation of Helix, and look forward to welcoming the participation of additional organizations,” says Sean Ringsted, Chief Risk Officer, Chubb.

The Institutes is in the process of engaging founding members and building out the appropriate governance structure. As those are put in place, Helix members will determine initial priorities in support of the four pillars and leveraging the work performed under the CMOS initiative. Companies in search of additional information, or that have interest in contributing expertise to the effort can contact The Institutes at [email protected]

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