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ARA Releases HurLoss®, Its U.S. Hurricane Catastrophe Loss Model

February 2012

ARA Sponsors RAA Cat Modeling Conference

ARA is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) Cat Modeling Conference focusing on “The New Risk” from Feb. 14-16 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

“Cat Models – The New Risk” addresses the challenge of balancing the need for stable risk assessment tools versus the need for continued model improvement as better scientific, building performance and historical loss data become available.

ARA’s leading experts, Dr. Peter Vickery and Dr. Frank Lavelle, will participate in the Cat Model comparison session and provide presentations on the scientific and engineering components of HurLoss, ARA’s U.S. hurricane catastrophe model.

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) has announced the commercial release of its U.S. hurricane model, HurLoss. HurLoss is the first new catastrophe modeling software for U.S. hurricane risk available for licensing by the insurance industry in more than 15 years.

“Due to the many scientific publications and public-domain hurricane loss studies ARA has produced, we have experienced a significant increase in the amount of interest in licensing HurLoss,” said Dr. Larry Twisdale, principal engineer and executive vice president at ARA.

HurLoss is built on ARA’s three decades of wind engineering experience and has been vetted and approved by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology for 10 consecutive years. Several of the largest insurers rely on HurLoss to support their rate filing analyses.

HurLoss offers a unique, engineering-based alternative view of the hurricane peril. ARA’s vulnerability modeling approach explicitly calculates the physical damage to buildings caused by hurricane winds. ARA subjects thousands of distinct 3-D building models to in-depth simulations of wind loads and resistances to produce a suite of customized damage functions covering the full range of performance within each building class.

According to Dr. Peter Vickery, ARA’s principal engineer responsible for developing the damage functions, this approach results in transparent and reliable damage and loss estimates, and avoids the need for qualitative judgments. Clients can be confident that HurLoss loss estimates accurately differentiate between the wide range of specific building design and construction features commonly seen in portfolios.

ARA’s wind engineering division, IntraRisk, has more than100 years of combined experience in modeling extreme winds, evaluating structural performance, collecting and analyzing property damage and claims data, and performing insurance portfolio risk/loss estimates.

For more information about HurLoss and ARA’s approach to extreme wind modeling, visit, email, or call (919) 582-3400.