Understanding how the past and present inform the comprehensive evaluation of wildfire hazard scores
Welcome to the first installment of our four-part series on wildfire hazard and risk management, where we will explore CoreLogic’s wildfire risk models and their optimal use within the insurance industry ecosystem. Watch for part two, which will be released in the coming weeks.
The CoreLogic® Wildfire Risk Score is a crucial tool that enables underwriters to easily distinguish areas of exceedingly high- and low-wildfire risk. The risk score is also valuable for actuaries who can use the score to better assess a home’s value.
The CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Score is an easy-to-use, comprehensive, 5-100 score that accounts for both the wildfire hazard at any given location within the geographic extent of the model as well as the location’s proximity to ember-generating, high-risk areas; information pertaining to wildland locations; and recent wildfire events. The risk score incorporates factors influencing wildfire hazard, such as slope, aspect, fuel, surface composition, drought and wind, at a 30-meter resolution across 16 modeled states.
Effective Risk Assessment and Management Require a Complete View
Two complementing views of hazard within the CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Score are intended to provide a comprehensive understanding of the wildfire peril and its dynamic nature. The likelihood of a wildfire occurring in the same area within a limited timespan may decline due to the fact that the vegetation necessary to fuel a fire has already been consumed. This temporary decrease in risk in the aftermath of fires is crucial to consider when evaluating hazard and risk.
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However, wildfire activity does not permanently alter the hazard; post-wildfire vegetation regrows. The hazard can return to pre-wildfire levels within two to eight years, but there are cases when this regrowth can take longer after a fire occurs. The Wildfire Risk Score accounts for the temporarily reduced state of wildfire hazard in a given area and the annual model update incorporates the most recent year’s wildfire events.
If a fire affected a particular area, the Wildfire Risk Score provides an additional metric called the preburn score. The preburn score intends to provide the hazard assessment prior to any recent fire. It is an indicator of what the hazard will return to following vegetation regrowth.
The current and preburn view of wildfire hazard are important data points to include in a wildfire risk managers toolbox. A comprehensive understanding of the hazard today, combined with how the hazard may change, will best inform risk assessment within the context of wildfires.
CoreLogic will release its annual Wildfire Risk Report in August 2023, which uses the Wildfire Risk Score to detail this year’s wildfire risk across the western United States. The report will highlight the areas containing the greatest concentration of residential properties with high wildfire risk.
The report will be available for download on August 10.
Contact: Please email [email protected] for any questions regarding your wildfire risk or the CoreLogic Wildfire Risk Score, or any CoreLogic Wildfire products.
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