It's a given that catastrophe models play a key role in helping insurers estimate the losses that could result from cat events such as earthquakes and hurricanes. But these models don't work in isolation. To get even more accurate assessments, insurers increasingly are using them in conjunction with other models-commercial or homegrown-and with data from other sources such as satellite and radar systems.

One recent trend that's spurring the use of multiple cat models is the growing pressure from regulators and ratings agencies in the wake of widespread disaster-related losses for insurers and reinsurers.

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