Boston - AIR Worldwide Corp. (AIR) released Version 8.0 of CLASIC/2, CATRADER, and CATStation, AIR's catastrophe risk management systems. The version 8.0 releases include updates to several of AIR's catastrophe models and a number of software enhancements to make catastrophe analyses more efficient.

"We have been working closely with our clients to respond quickly to meet the industry's changing needs," said Uday Virkud, senior vice president at Boston-based AIR. "In addition to updates to several of AIR's catastrophe models, including U.S. hurricane, Central and South American earthquake, and European extratropical cyclone, Version 8.0 of AIR's catastrophe risk management systems will provide clients with significant performance improvements for data import and management."

For the 2006 hurricane season, AIR is offering three catalogs for its U.S. hurricane model: the standard catalog, which is based on over 100 years of historical data and over 20 years of research and development; a near-term sensitivity catalog, which reflects recent research on the influence of sea surface temperatures on near-term (approx. 5 years) hurricane activity; and a 2006 seasonal hurricane catalog that accounts for the influence of current climate signals on hurricane activity for the season set to begin on June 1.

Enhancements to AIR's U.S. Hurricane Model result from an extensive analysis by AIR scientists and engineers of post-disaster survey findings and detailed client claims data from the last two years. Wind damage functions, which depict how high winds impact structures, have been fine-tuned for a number of construction types including commercial wood frame and light metal. AIR has also added six new occupancy classes, including gas stations, restaurants, and golf courses, to provide insurers who underwrite these types of properties with a more realistic view of their risk.

The storm surge model has been enhanced with higher resolution elevation data to more accurately estimate the extent of ocean water incursion over land. The update also better captures peak surge levels resulting from intense storms like Hurricane Katrina.

"Significant storm surge losses resulting from Hurricane Katrina highlighted the need to better assess and manage storm surge risk," said Virkud. "In response to client requests, Version 8.0 of CLASIC/2 enables insurers to explicitly capture flood policy terms to more accurately estimate potential losses resulting from storm surge."

Demand surge accounts for the increase in the costs of repair and reconstruction in the aftermath of a catastrophe. After the 2004 hurricane season, AIR enhanced its catastrophe modeling systems to enable clients to apply demand surge to their loss estimates on an aggregate basis to better account for the increased level of repairs that result when multiple storms are clustered both in time and location. After further analysis of economic and claims data from the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, AIR has updated its demand surge function to better reflect the impact of mega-catastrophes.

AIR's Numerical Weather Prediction-based European Extratropical Cyclone Model has also been enhanced for Version 8.0 of CLASIC/2 and CATRADER. AIR's Earthquake Model for Mexico and South America, available in CATRADER, includes updates to all modeled countries and the addition of Peru. Additional software features in CLASIC/2 include enhanced exposure data control total reports, reinsurance treaty loss views, and direct links to AIR's client support website from within the software.

Source: Business Wire

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