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What weather data sources are available to verify a claim?

The verification of any potential claim under this insurance can be derived from one of the following.

  • A specified Ground Weather Station OR
  • The Gridded Data System Model

The same data source will be used for both pricing and claims verification. However, Ground Weather Station data may not be available due to the location of your risk or due to the quality of data for that Ground Weather Station being poor.

Ground Weather Station

Tell me more about Ground Weather Stations

A Ground Weather Station is a weather station with instruments and equipment for measuring atmospheric conditions. A Ground Weather Station can only be selected for verification under this insurance policy if it:

  • Meets the qualitative and quantitative data equirements of Athenium Analytics LLLC
  • Records and reports upon the Insured Weather Peril per the Insured Weather Period parameters as you have selected as the Insured

Ground Weather Station observations represent what happened at that specific point. There is huge variability between Ground Weather Stations due to terrain, types of sensors used and altitude and in some countries (such as the UK) weather stations are sparse and therefore Gridded Data is recommended as a verification source.

The graphic below shows the comparison between the number of 8km by 8km data grids in the South of the UK against the number of available Ground Weather Stations

Tell me more about Gridded Data System Model

Gridded data is Athenium Analytics’ first choice for verification because it has consistent coverage and is always available, where high-quality weather stations are not.

Athenium Analytics split the world into hexagonal grids of varying size depending on the Insured Weather Peril as below. Your Insured Weather Location (as expressed by a latitude and longitude) will be situated in one of these grids.

The graphic below shows rainfall totals for a specific day (24 hours) over a number of 1km by 1km grids within Continental US.

Weather Peril Global Continental US
Rain 8 km by 8 km 1 km by 1 km
Snow 8 km by 8 km 1 km by 1 km
Freezing rain 8 km by 8 km 1 km by 1 km
Wind 8 km by 8 km 1 km by 1 km
Temperature 8 km by 8 km 1 km by 1 km
Gridded Data System 1
Gridded Data System 2

Athenium Analytics have a worldwide database of 40 years’ worth of historical gap-free data updated hourly. The database comes from various sources such as:

  • Public Weather Stations (example: NOAA MADIS)
  • Airports (example: METAR- METeorological Aviation Report)
  • Weather radar (example: National Weather Service NEXRAD Radar network)
  • Satellites (example: GOES- Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite)
  • Climate Forecasts (example: CFSR- Climate Forecast System Reanalysis)

Athenium Analytics then rationalizes the above data and then groups it into the aforementioned data grids. This data is then used to both price your Weather Policy and to also verify any potential claim.

To do this, Athenium Analytics begin by analysing the most accurate data source for your Insured .Weather Location. In the US, it would be the 1km Satellite dataset which is then cross-referenced with nearby Ground Stations/Public Weather Stations to make sure data is accurate. If data is missing or unavailable, Athenium use the next highest resolution data source available for the location. For example, if hours 0800-1000 are missing, Athenium Analytics will use another dataset for those specific hours only. Athenium never blend datasets together to produce new “averaged” or “estimated” values.

Atherenium Analytics Verification Reports

Tell me more about Athenium Analytics Verification Reports

In the event of a potential claim under your insurance policy, please advise us via your Insurance broker and Athenium Analytics will produce a claims or verification report. We will aim to respond within 48 hours but due to the complex nature of many meteorological events, verification may sometimes take a little longer order to ensure the highest level of scientific quality and accuracy.

The report will detail the hourly weather data measurements and will highlight whether your Insured Weather Peril has been triggered or not.

To provide Insureds with the most accurate report possible, Athenium Analytics perform the following quality control checks once the report template has been populated.

  • The senior meteorologist cross-examines the hourly accumulations with radar imagery to ensure the measurements found are consistent in both time and location of Athenium Analytics LLC
  • The senior meteorologist checks the accumulations found at any nearby Ground Weather Stations, if such stations exist and the data is reliable enough to reference.
  • The senior meteorologist checks other data resources, such as satellite-derived data, whenever needed or appropriate to supplement the analysis.

Any further questions? If anything is unclear, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch via your broker.

Arrows 2

Climate change, global warming and the resulting landscape shift for risk management has been a growing area of concern among governments, the general public, the private sector and of course the (re)insurance industry.

James Waller,
PhD Research Meteorologist, GC Analytics

Climate change, global warming and the resulting landscape shift for risk management has been a growing area of concern among governments, the general public, the private sector and of course the (re)insurance industry.

James Waller,
PhD Research Meteorologist, GC Analytics