Wind Damage Scale Released

August 25, 2008

Boston — Karen Clark & Co., an independent provider of catastrophe risk management services, announced the introduction of the KC Wind Damage Scale, a new tool for quickly assessing the likely insured damage from tropical cyclones.

The scale is designed to give insurance companies and others a measure of the probable wind damage to buildings, contents and business interruption caused by a tropical storm or hurricane. The scale ranges from KC 0, for a storm with winds less than 40 miles per hour and in which negligible insured damage would be expected, to KC 7, denoting a hurricane with winds in excess of 160 miles per hour, and in which all but engineered and highly fortified structures would likely suffer complete destruction. The scale provides a detailed damage description for each category.

For each land-falling U.S. hurricane, Karen Clark & Co. also will provide the wind damage contours after landfall. The damage contours will give insurance companies a good idea of the nature of the claims in specific geographical areas affected by the storm.

The KC Wind Damage Scale differs markedly from the well-known Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale, which is used to categorize hurricanes. The SS scale starts at 74 mph, while insured damages are typically experienced at lower wind speeds.

“While Saffir-Simpson is the standard hurricane scale used for many purposes including warnings and evacuations, the KC Wind Damage Scale is tailored specifically to the needs of insurance company executives who need a quick assessment of the likely insured damage resulting from a storm,” says Karen Clark, president and CEO of Karen Clark & Co. “The KC Wind Damage Scale provides a detailed description of the likely claims resulting from a hurricane, which helps in planning the loss adjusting and reserving processes.”

The KC Wind Damage Scale is provided on an interactive map, allowing users to see the tracks, and KC Wind Damage Scale designations, for significant hurricanes impacting the U.S. since 1900. A drop-down menu lets users select what storms to plot. The user also can choose maps showing a standard, satellite, hybrid or vegetation view. The KC Wind Damage Scale and maps can be accessed through the company’s Web site.

Source: The Business Wire

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