Earth Imaging Journal: Remote Sensing, Satellite Images, Satellite Imagery
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Maximum flood extent appears in blue over the city of Charron, western France, derived from multiple Earth-observation satellite images from March 2010 during the Xynthia windstorm.

The use of data from Earth-observing satellites in the insurance business is still in the early stages, but pressure to be ready for more frequent extreme-weather events is increasing.

Flooding is expensive for the insurance and reinsurance market. Last year’s flood in Thailand cost the insurance industry $15–20 billion—the most expensive flood ever in terms of insured losses. Accurate and timely information about a flood’s extent can help insurers assess the impact and prepare to meet the claims.

In an innovative approach, a consortium of insurers and reinsurers has teamed with Zurich-based PERILS to assess the use of real-time flood extent information based on data from a constellation of six European and Canadian remote sensing satellites.

During the next 12 months, the inundation area of significant floods will be delivered to a Web-based platform hosted by PERILS for the business partners. The trial is part of European Space Agency activities to develop the industrial use of Earth observation-based services to stimulate growth within the European service sector.

Image courtesy of ESA and SERTIT/VISTA.

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