ARA Announces Approval of Hurricane Model by Florida Using Climate Conditioning for First Time

Applied Research Associate, Inc.’s (ARA) latest version of HurLoss® has once again been accepted by the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology (FCHLPM) for insurance rate making in Florida.

This latest version is also the first time ARA has submitted a model with a current, or climate-conditioned, view of hurricane risk rather than a stationary or long-term historical view, and the first model accepted by the FCHLPM to account for climate change.

“This improvement recognizes the evolving nature of hurricane risk, which is driven by changing environmental parameters, such as sea surface temperature and wind shear,” said ARA Principal Engineer Frank Lavelle, who has managed the development and support of ARA’s hurricane model since 2002.

This breakthrough in climate conditioned modeling is made possible by ARA’s unique methodology, allowing for direct input from leading Global Circulation Models (GCM).

“ARA’s engineering approach to catastrophe modeling is first principles, physics based. Our hurricane model has always used physically based inputs, rather than relying solely on statistical modeling or simply claims data.”

Frank Lavelle, ARA Principal Engineer

ARA’s method of quantifying the effects of climate change on hurricane risk is to allow the hurricane model to ingest predictions of future global temperatures and wind shear from leading GCMs and provide event occurrence rates for any given time frame and carbon emissions scenario that has been modeled with a GCM.

“Environmental parameters are direct inputs to ARA’s unique, physically-based hurricane hazard model,” said Senior Engineer Lauren Mudd, ARA’s principal climate change expert with respect to the hurricane hazard. “Using this method, multiple environmental parameters can be incorporated, as opposed to only a single parameter such as surface sea temperature.”

ARA’s methodology was approved following the final hearing for the model on Friday, June 2.

The purpose of the FCHLPM, set up by the Florida legislature in 1995, is to assure that computer models used for setting premium rates in the Florida personal lines insurance market are neither excessive nor inadequate.  In order to achieve acceptable status, a model is given a rigorous expert review every two years.  ARA’s model has been accepted every time it has been submitted, going back to the year 2000.

ARA’s wind engineering expertise and its state-of-the-art hurricane model, HurLoss ®, provide an independent and highly respected view of hurricane risk to structural engineers, emergency managers, energy producers, and property insurers.To learn more about HurLoss ® visit

About ARA

Applied Research Associates, Inc. (ARA) was founded in 1979, in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to offer science and engineering research to solve problems of national importance. ARA delivers leading-edge products and innovative solutions for national defense, energy, homeland security, aerospace, healthcare, transportation, and manufacturing. With over 2,000 employee-owners at locations in the U.S. and Canada, ARA offers a broad range of technical expertise in defense technologies, civil engineering, computer software and simulation, systems analysis, biomedical engineering, environmental technologies, and blast testing and measurement.