CRESTA, the insurance industry organization that provides a standard global system of risk accumulation zones, has announced the release of the CRESTA Zones 2019, which includes updated information for 137 countries, and the launch of a new CRESTA website.
Set up by the industry in 1977 as an independent organization to facilitate the technical management of natural catastrophe insurance, CRESTA’s aim is to increase efficiency and interoperability within global insurance markets. In September 2018, PERILS CRESTA AG, a subsidiary of Zurich-based PERILS AG, took over responsibility for the CRESTA Secretariat, which was previously managed by Munich Re and Swiss Re. (PERILS is an independent organization that provides industry-wide natural catastrophe exposure and event loss data.)
In its 2019 release, CRESTA has updated all 4,901 low-resolution and 242,172 high-resolution CRESTA zones for the 137 countries covered by the organization, following extensive consultation with the industry. The CRESTA 2019 release covers the same zones as covered by the last update in 2013 but reflects changes to administrative units worldwide. The update also introduces low-resolution zones for Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These data sets were previously not available under the zoning scheme and therefore fill a significant data gap.
CRESTA zones consist of administrative and/or postal code boundaries. Typically, low-resolution zones are used as the industry standard for cumulative risk analyses and reporting, while high-resolution zones are used for risk modeling and scenario analyses.
In addition to the 2019 release, CRESTA has announced the launch of its new website (www.cresta.org). The site features a state-of-the-art web application that includes map visualization and querying tools. An easy-to-use lookup function assigns location coordinates to the corresponding low- and high-resolution CRESTA zones. Zoning lists and mapping tables spanning different CRESTA releases and low- and high-resolution zones can be downloaded as Excel spreadsheets from the website.
Through the recently established CRESTA Advisory Board, which includes representatives from AIR Worldwide, Aon, Corelogic, Guy Carpenter, Impact Forecasting, Munich Re, Oasis, PERILS, RMS, Swiss Re and Willis Re, CRESTA said it will continue its engagement with the industry to further develop and enhance the CRESTA standard.
“We are very proud to announce this major step in the ‘renaissance’ of CRESTA. During the last 12 months, we have had numerous discussions with industry practitioners which have highlighted the importance of the CRESTA standard both as a means of facilitating data handling and of complying with data privacy laws,” commented Eduard Held, head of Products at PERILS.
“As a globally accepted standard for the exchange of insurance data, CRESTA plays a critical function in increasing the efficiency of the risk transfer industry. Moving forward, CRESTA will continue to enhance the value of the standard for the benefit of the entire market,” he added.
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