Aon empowers cat modellers to run any model on its enhanced ELEMENTS 10 platform

Press Release:


Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, has launched ELEMENTS 10 – its complete catastrophe modelling platform to enhance strategic business decisions. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).

As catastrophe modellers play an increasingly strategic role in exploring emerging markets and shaping product opportunities, the ELEMENTS platform enables them to obtain new insights and manage the process from start to finish. This ranges from the ability to use an insurer’s own loss data to customise various model components to extensive reporting capabilities to communicate results to senior management and regulators.

As such ELEMENTS 10 gives modellers the flexibility to import various formats, run any implemented third party model, actively manage accumulations, quantify uncertainty and even provide insights for underwriting colleagues – all on one platform.

A key aspect of the enhanced platform is the increased ease of running any third party or insurers’ own model. For example, modellers can now access flood models from Ambiental, JBA and SSBN or UCL’s tsunami model.  Equally, Impact Forecasting models are also being used on other platforms – including ImageCat, Spatial Key and Opta, with the latter incorporating Canada flood data into its iClarify™ tool to improve underwriting.

Adam Podlaha, Global Head of Impact Forecasting, commented: “We are taking collaboration to the next level and empowering catastrophe modellers to have complete control over the process from start to finish – in addition to providing a wide model selection. Having pioneered transparent modelling back in 1995, we are continuously building upon this to bring additional possibilities to modellers. Now Impact Forecasting has gone a step further with the evolution of traditional modelling for reinsurance to underwriting, new product development and automated accumulation control.”

Stefan Hiemer, Natural Hazard Analyst at Qatar Re, added: “ELEMENTS enables us to have full control of model customisation, which gives us the opportunity to adjust the models in regions where we have additional insights and new information through access to the markets.”

Additional features of ELEMENTS 10 include:

  • New Impact Forecasting models including a suite of new and updated flood models for US, Canada, Malaysia and Poland. The US river flood model has been expanded for pluvial risk in addition to updating the fluvial and the storm surge risks. In addition, the coverage of the European windstorm model has extended to Austria and the Scandinavian countries and to include forestry.
  • Taking it one step further by enabling catastrophe modellers to run any model Impact Forecasting or third party, in the Impact Forecasting or in the Oasis hazard and vulnerability files format. Additional enhancements to the way flood models are implemented using the Oasis model files have led to a significant reduction in space requirements
  • ELEMENTS Explorer has expanded to provide basic model and uncertainty documentation as well as direct access to most frequently used queries with the overall goal to aid the needs of internal and regulatory reporting. In addition most components of ELEMENTS Explorer have been now included in the main ELEMENTS Client software making the access to the tools more streamlined
  • New insights for accumulation control and per policy calculation to support underwriting
  • Ability to run ELEMENTS in-house or on the cloud
  • Up to 40% improved performance through Dynamic Core allocation – plus an improved graphical user interface
Police, ICBC cracking down on boaters who drink then drive

Police, ICBC cracking down on boaters who drink then drive

Chek News

As boats were hauled out of the water at the Comox Marina this week, members of the RCMP and ICBC’s Road Safety team were there to greet them.

It’s part of an impaired driving and boating campaign taking place this month.

With more boaters than usual out enjoying the waters around Vancouver Island, police say it’s important to remember drinking and boating is illegal.

“The laws are pretty specific the only time you can drink on your boat is if you’re in a boat that has a toilet facility, a cooking facility, and a sleeping facility, and you’re tied up to a dock so otherwise, no you can’t drink on your boat,” said Comox Valley RCMP Const. Perry Snyder.

According to the B.C. government of the 48 deaths each year on the water, 42 per cent are alcohol-related.

But the concern for police doesn’t end once you’re back on land.

“Our issue is the driver may be the person who usually tows the boat and he’s had a few on the water,” said Snyder.

“You’re pulling a boat that could weigh a few thousand pounds it changes the way your vehicle responds it changes the way your vehicle brakes,” he said.

So the message is whether you’re boating or not, make other plans if you plan to drink.

“Think ahead, how are you going to get home are you going to have a designated driver are you going to take a cab are you going to take transit are you going to sleep over whatever you need to do,” said Caroline Robinson, with ICBC Road Safety.

Since 46 per cent of all impaired driving deaths happen during the summer months, the team hopes everyone hears their message loud and clear.

“You can enjoy, you can have fun but we want to make sure everyone gets home safely at the end of the day,” said Robinson.

Why dirty dryer vents are an ‘unseen hazard’ in your home

Ross McLaughlin & Carly Yoshida, CTV Vancouver

A clogged dryer vent can lead to a fire, but many people don’t realize the importance of cleaning vents and lint traps regularly.

Vancouver had 13 dryer related fires in 2015 that caused $200,000 worth of damage, and the city has already had nine dryer related fires this year. Nearly all of the fires were related to issues around lint buildup and duct cleaning.

“It’s sort of the unseen hazard that we don’t think about,” said Coquitlam fire inspector Kim Saulnier. Last year, Coquitlam Fire Rescue only dealt with one dryer fire, but they have already had four in the first five months of 2016.

A plugged vent can trap heat and impede the airflow of the dryer. Regular lint trap and vent cleaning allows the heat and air flow to move through the dryer properly.

“Lint can gather around the actual motor itself and that insulates the motor, can cause heat to build up, and that’s where we can see ignition,” said Saulnier.

Robert Orford from Freeflo Ventilation & Maintenance says if the outside vent is plugged, the airflow becomes restricted, and the lint will make its way into other cavities of the dryer.

“There’s a lot of neglected vents,” he said.

Saulnier encourages homeowners to clean their outside vents, hose and ducts once a year, either themselves or by hiring a qualified contractor.

“According to the fire code in B.C. you should be cleaning out your lint trap after every use,” she said. “In fact, I would say, check the lint trap before you throw the load [of laundry] in there.”

Homeowners are also encouraged to turn dryers off before leaving the house or going to bed. Dryers should never be used without a lint filter, and you should avoid overloading them.

It can cost about $90 to have your dryer vents cleaned out, and the workers wouldn’t need to come inside your home. But it’s also a good idea to have the lint cleaned from around the dryer drum as well. Plugged vents in apartment buildings can also lead to moisture buildup and damage.

Study: Builders’ risk insurance higher for wood buildings

Excerpted article was written by RICHARD GILBERT


There is a substantial difference in the risks and insurance rates for the construction of wood frame buildings compared to concrete structures, a recent study commissioned by the Concrete Council of Canada reveals.
Builders’ risk insurance higher for wood buildings: study

“Our objective with this study is to provide credible information on a level playing field basis about the use of various building products, whether it is concrete, steel or wood,” said Chris Conway, chair of the Concrete Council of Canada.

“This study is one part of a larger effort to get accurate information out there about our products, while at the same time trying to correct and clarify any misconceptions about other products.”

The Concrete Council of Canada recently released a study by Globe Advisors entitled Insurance Costs for Mid-Rise Wood Frame and Concrete Residential Buildings.

The report focuses on the difference in property insurance between wood frame buildings up to six storeys and structures using various non-combustible materials, including cast-in-place concrete, precast concrete, concrete blocks and insulated concrete forms.

“When you look at the studies we have had access to about building material choices and how they are perceived by builders and architects, wood is favoured primarily in two categories, cost and speed,” said Conway.

“Concrete is perceived as having many favourable attributes, such as resiliency, strength and lifecycle durability. Really, what this study does is it addresses the issue of perceived cost.”

Using data from interviews with three underwriters and the Canadian Wood Council (CWC), the study found that builders’ risk insurance rates per $100 monthly for comparable wood and concrete buildings are on average $0.008 for concrete and $0.053 for wood.

When the rate provided by CWC for wood frame insurance is excluded, the average rate for wood buildings rises to $0.06. The CWC rate was significantly lower than the rates provided by the underwriters.

As a result, the study concluded that builders’ risk insurance rates were 7.5 times higher for the construction of wood mid-rise buildings compared to concrete.

The reasons for this difference in the cost of insurance are the higher risk of fire and greater risk and repair costs of water and moisture damage for wood buildings.

Fire damage to a wood frame structure can result in a total loss, whereas for concrete, the financial loss is usually not as serious, the study indicates.

The study reports that only one per cent of concrete buildings are demolished during a fire, compared to eight per cent of wood frame buildings.

Moisture control is a difficult and expensive process for wood frame mid-rise buildings, which are more susceptible to mould and rot. Water damage is the leading cause of residential claims costs in Canada. Water damage tends to spread more rapidly and remain undetected longer in wood frame structures compared to concrete structures.

In addition, it is generally much more difficult for strata managers to secure adequate and affordable coverage for wood frame buildings.

Many Canadian insurance companies will not underwrite wood frame structures, or will aggressively limit their exposure for such structures, both during construction and over the life of the asset, the study states. This has led to a significant amount of re-insurance coverage for these structures being brokered through the European Union and the United Kingdom re-insurance markets.

Despite these facts, Conway said there is a perception in the industry that wood is much less expensive for the construction of mid-rise wood structures.

“What we are doing in a fact-based way is to use a third party to find out if this construction method is actually cheaper,” he said.

“We used a third party, because the study has a lot more credibility than if we did it ourselves. I think it is important to get this information out there, so people can make rational decisions about what materials to build with.”

Since insurance rates are only one of the many factors that determine the construction cost of mid-rise residential buildings, Conway said there is a need for a comparative assessment of the total lifecycle costs of wood frame and concrete structures.

As a result, the Concrete Council of Canada is currently working on a total costing study, which will consider changing technologies and related costs of building products, as well as the longer term costs of building operation, maintenance and decommissioning.

Established in October 2013, the council brings together national and provincial representatives from the full spectrum of cement and concrete manufacturers across the country.

The council’s mission is to advance the industry’s leadership in sustainable construction and promote the social, environmental and economic value of concrete, concrete products and concrete systems in Canada.

Individual property owners and taxpayers as a whole exposed to 60% of risk, study finds

Read more

Make Fire Safety a Part of Holiday Weekend Plans

The Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management of Ontario is urging Ontarians to include fire safety in their Victoria Day weekend plans as they prepare to head to cottage country. Here are simple tips to enjoy a safe holiday weekend:

  • Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of your cottage, cabin or seasonal home – it’s the law inOntario, just like for permanent residences.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms outside sleeping areas of your cottage, cabin or seasonal home if it has a fuel-burning appliance or attached garage.
  • Test smoke alarms to ensure they are working to provide life-saving early detection and warning in your home away from home. Pack a new alarm and extra batteries in case they need replacement.
  • Check with the local fire department, municipality, or the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for any restrictions on burning in the area where you are vacationing.
  • Use caution when having campfires or burning brush around cottages and camps. Keep a water supply and shovel close by to ensure fires are completely extinguished.
  • Clean heating appliances and barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on your barbecue while cooking, and ensure all combustibles, children and pets are kept well away.
  • Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.


“As we look towards the Victoria Day long weekend, and enjoying time outdoors with family and friends, we want to make sure everyone keeps fire safety in mind. These simple fire safety tips are easy to follow and ensure we each do our part to help Ontario’sdedicated firefighters keep our communities safe for everyone this weekend and throughout the year.”
Yasir Naqvi
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

“The current fire situations in Alberta and parts of northern Ontario are powerful reminders of the devastating effects of fire. Test smoke alarms and replace batteries now, before the summer season and check heating appliances and chimneys before using them.”

Ross Nichols
Ontario Fire Marshal and Chief of Emergency Management



SOURCE Office of the Fire Marshal – Media Relations

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from ILSTV

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest