ALERT™ (AIR Loss Estimates in Real Time) is an online service providing up-to-date information and loss estimates for major natural catastrophes occurring worldwide. Obtaining reliable catastrophe loss information quickly, as an actual event unfolds, has become increasingly important for insurers, reinsurers, and investors. This, coupled with the opportunities available for hedging against events in real time, make access to timely information regarding potential catastrophe losses exceedingly valuable.
Currently, ALERT provides loss information for major events, including tropical cyclones impacting the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Japan, and Australia; floods in the United States, the UK, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland; terrorism in the United States; extratropical cyclones in Europe; and earthquakes in all countries modeled by AIR. In addition, AIR will post summary information on other catastrophic events around the world. AIR has issued real-time loss estimates for every U.S. hurricane since Hugo in 1989. Since then, the service has expanded to include many types of catastrophic events in many regions of the world, providing AIR clients with access to fast, far-reaching, integrated loss information.
For U.S. hurricanes, AIR begins posting parameter-based Similar Stochastic Event (SSEs) IDs 48 hours and 24 hours before projected landfall. At landfall, AIR simulates hundreds of probability-weighted storm scenarios using the National Hurricane Center's range of possible storm tracks, wind speeds, and other intensity variables. Estimates of industry losses are generated for all scenarios, and a selection of the most representative scenarios are posted on the ALERT website. A narrative description of the event parameters, location, and projected course is also provided. Files containing the selected scenarios can be downloaded from the ALERT website and input directly into AIR software applications for further analysis.
For major earthquakes, AIR posts information within hours of the event. For modeled countries , AIR seismologists begin running simulations using available information on magnitude, focal depth, rupture mechanism, fault length, dip angle, and so on. Event sets for all selected scenarios can be downloaded for further analysis. Because of the considerable uncertainty surrounding the actual parameters of an earthquake in its immediate aftermath, AIR seismologists continue to run simulations and post updated loss estimates as additional information comes in from seismic networks around the world.