Catastrophe models are not just for hurricanes. They are also not just for insurance carriers. Ming Lee, president and CEO of catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, discusses how insurance brokers and governments are increasingly using cat models and how cat models are expanding into other risks and expanding geographically.
Travelers Indemnity Company (“Travelers”) recently won a decision against Larimer County regarding a claim for damage caused to the roofs of several buildings at the County Fairgrounds. Travelers Indemnity Company v. Board of County Commissioners for Larimer County, Slip Copy, 2013 WL 238865, p. 1 (10th Cir. 2013). Larimer County alleged, in district court, that snowstorms and the weight of the snow build-up caused damage to the roof structures. Id. After the district court found for Travelers on a motion for summary judgment, Larimer County appealed the ruling, claiming that Traveler’s was obligated under the insurance policy to pay for repair costs to portions of the roofing structure. Id.
The underlying claim for repairs originates with several snowstorms that caused damage to several buildings on the County Fairgrounds. The damage claimed was widespread to the roof structures, evidenced by rolling and buckling purlins (horizontal beams running along the length of the roof, resting upon the principal rafters at right angles and supporting the ordinary rafters). Travelers denied the claim based on its own investigation which concluded the damage was caused by design and construction defects, and therefore excluded from coverage under the insurance policy.