Flood Catastrophe Model Development and Review

Helping clients to understand, manage and quantify flood risk across the world 

Since 2004 Hydro-GIS have been working with the insurance sector, providing our clients with a full understanding of their exposure to flood risk. Our staff have expertise in coastal and river flood catastrophe model development going back more than 20 years  

Hydro-GIS have developed bespoke flood catastrophe models over most of Europe including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden and Ukraine. We have applied our cat modelling expertise to studies in other parts of the world including north and south America and Asia. 

The expertise we have developed make us ideally suited to undertaking reviews and audits of flood catastrophe models. Commercial cat modelling software often has extensive documentation on how to apply the software but very little information on how the hazard component of the model has been developed. All too often a modelling company will claim how their model is better than others purely on the use of a higher resolution DTM, when in reality the routines used for generating flood events can be very poor. 

Particularly important model assumptions are often not explained in the documentation. For example, the first RMS UK flood cat model had a significant step increase in losses as event return periods increased. Without a knowledge of the model development this was difficult to understand. The change could however be directly attributed to how flood defence failure was simulated in the model with a simple routine removing all defences as the predicted river flows for effected rivers exceeded the 100-year return period, which gave a vast increase in flood extents. 

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University College London Courses

Dr Harvey Rodda, our Director of Hydrology, is an Associate Professor at University College London and provides a module on the flood hazard as part of the MSc in Geophysical Hazards and Certificate in Natural Hazards for Insurers course.  Download the course brochure for more details: