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Actionable Flood Warnings for Africa at Insurance 3.0

Last week, our CEO Jonathan Jackson presented at the world’s largest one day InsurTech event Insurance 3.0, on the topic of Actionable Flood Warnings in Africa.

Flooding is increasingly a global issue, with climate change ensuring that it affects all corners of the world from America to Africa and beyond.

  Global problems require global solutions, and whilst it is early days for us at InsurTech Previsco, as a commercial entity, our Actionable Flood Warning solutions are already proven worldwide, including in Africa, thanks to 20 years of academic research.

It was the global nature of flooding, including in Africa, that was the key thrust of Previsico’s presentation at the event, introduced by Dr. Tom Herbstein, Prosperity Insurance Specialist at the Department of International Trade and hosted at the Chartered Accountants Hall in the heart of the City of London.

The scale of the issue

By 2050, the predicted annual cost of flooding globally is $1trillion (WRI, 2015). If this number seems pessimistic, consider that the combined cost of Hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma alone in the US in 2017 was US$ 265billion (NOAA, 2018).

In March 2019, a devastating cyclone made landfall in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. Cyclone Idai was possibly the worst weather-related disaster to ever hit the southern hemisphere, killing over 1,000 people and leaving 400,000 without a home. 

Saving lives and livelihoods

However, the good news is that all is not lost. Previsico’s live flood forecasting solution, FloodMap Live, can now provide ‘Actionable Flood Warnings’, worldwide. 

Based on 20 years of academic research, at Loughborough University and led by Previsico’s Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Professor Dapeng Yu, across 50 cities around the world, including in Africa, FloodMap Live can give governments, relief agencies, people, and insurers live local warnings, which they can act on to both reduce and manage flood risks.

Whilst not every answer is easy, our live ‘Actionable Flood Warnings’ can provide people with the opportunity to move themselves and their possessions to higher ground, where possible, as well as shore up defences in the right place at the right time, saving both lives and livelihoods. 

For example, back in the UK, if insurers had used FloodMap Live, now used by the DofE and Cabinet Office, to cover the major UK storms of 2015/16, they would have saved an estimated £146million – along with gaining significant goodwill with their customers.

Just imagine the global savings

So far, Previsico’s solution has only been tested in Kisumu, Kampala and Tamale in Africa, but with the right investment partner, solutions can be created across the African continent and beyond. So, whilst it’s true to say that our initial focus has been the UK market, word is spreading and we already have clients and prospects as far afield as Asia and Southern Europe. 

And with an estimated ROI of 400:1, this is a huge opportunity for insurers and others looking for the right solution to a growing problem, worldwide. 

For more information contact Jonathan Jackson, CEO,