Willis Research Network Partners with ‘Cloud to Street’ to Raise Flood Resilience

The Willis Research Network (WRN) has formed a new partnership with “Cloud to Street,” a global flood-mapping and monitoring platform that aims to help governments, humanitarian organizations and private sector actors increase resilience to catastrophic flooding.

The partnership will leverage Cloud to Street’s high-resolution satellite and machine learning flood monitoring technology and dynamic analytics systems, which include near real-time flood monitoring and high-cadence flood mapping to build and implement reliable and scalable risk transfer solutions.

The partnership will work to close the insurance protection gap in the developing world, where approximately 90% of economic losses from disasters remain uninsured, putting economically vulnerable households at greater risk and slowing recovery efforts following disasters, said WRN in a statement.

For the past two years Willis Re, the reinsurance broking arm of Willis Towers Watson, has worked with Cloud to Street to expand insurance coverage in Indonesia. New projects are planned in Africa later this year, explained WRN.

“We are very pleased to welcome Cloud to Street into the Willis Research Network and look forward to working together through our Climate and Resilience Hub,” said Simon Young, senior director, Willis Towers Watson.

“We will collaborate on researching and developing tools to better understand flood risk and its real-time manifestation around the world,” added Young.

“This will enable us to build and implement innovative risk transfer tools to better serve the needs of current and future clients across both public and private sectors, and from individual homeowners and farmers to corporate supply-chains and sovereign governments.”

“While working with governments and insurers in almost 20 countries, we have seen first-hand the urgent need for innovative disaster financing and new insurance products around flooding,” said Bessie Schwarz, CEO and co-founder of Brookyn, N.Y.-based Cloud to Street.

“We’re thrilled to partner with Willis Towers Watson to scale Cloud to Street’s flood technology and bring reliable parametric flood insurance to the governments we support and many others,” she continued. “Together, our combined expertise will enable us to offer insurance tools that mitigate the economic impact of flooding for communities throughout Africa and the world.”

About the Willis Research Network

Founded in 2006, the Willis Research Network (WRN) is a collaboration between academia and the finance and insurance industries. The WRN explores ways in which the world’s leading research organisations can help confront the challenges of managing risk and delivering resilience for the insurance industry.

About Cloud to Street

Cloud to Street is a flood-mapping and monitoring system designed to help governments, humanitarian organizations and insurers in low data environments respond and prepare for natural disasters. Originally founded with seed funding from Google in 2014, Cloud to Street’s technology combines high resolution satellite imagery, cloud computing, machine learning, and community intelligence to monitor floods in near real-time and analyze flood risk remotely around the globe.