Predicting Hurricane Damage Before It Happens

Dr. Mei-Ling Shyu, an associate chair and professor in the University of Miami (UM) College of Engineering’s Electrical & Computer Engineering Department, is a member of the Computer Science Component of the Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model (FPHLM), a large-scale hurricane catastrophe model.

The state of Florida ranks No. 1 in total insured property value exposed to hurricane wind. Out of Florida’s $3.6 trillion in insured properties, $2 trillion are residential, and all are exposed to hurricane risk. Funded by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FL OIR), FPHLM addresses the need of accurately assessing hurricane wind risk and predicting insured losses for Floridians’ residential properties.

The model was developed by a multidisciplinary team of experts in fields ranging from meteorology to actuarial science. It estimates loss costs and probable maximum loss levels from hurricane events for personal and commercial lines of residential property.

FPHLM is the first public hurricane loss model in the world. Since the release of its first version in March 2006, the model has been used over 1,000 times by the state and over 130 times by firms in the insurance industry. Consisting of three major components—wind hazard (meteorology), vulnerability (engineering) and insured loss cost (actuarial)—FPHLM provides state regulators a reliable benchmark in the homeowner insurance market and allows them to better formulate the state’s homeowner insurance rate-making policy.

The FPHLM’s impact on the community is indisputable, because its predictions directly influence the home insurance rates payed by Floridians every month. For more information, please click here.