Tallahassee, Florida —
The Willis Research Network, the world’s largest collaboration between public science and the insurance sector, has announced the addition of The Florida State University’s Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center to its membership. Florida State becomes the only academic institution in Florida and one of just 14 nationwide to be offered membership in the network.
“We are honored to be selected as a Willis Research Network member and look forward to further collaboration with other members toward providing solutions to the complicated issues surrounding tropical cyclones and their effects,” said Patrick F. Maroney, FSU’s Kathryn Magee Kip Professor of Risk Management and Insurance and director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. “This collaboration will add to the knowledge of hurricanes and their effects, and accelerate advances in addressing critical issues such as how to best finance the risk of the catastrophic damage that often comes with major landfalling hurricanes.”
Since its creation by the Florida Legislature in 2008, the center has been a leader in research related to the personal and socioeconomic perils of catastrophic events such as hurricanes. Center researchers study topics including homeowners insurance pricing in hurricane-prone Florida; forecasting of tropical cyclones; and ways to better protect homeowners and their homes. Studies conducted include research into insurance subsidies, better understanding and prediction of storm surge, insurance regulation, insurer capacity to pay claims, and the effects of home mitigation credits on the property insurance market.
“The affiliation with the Willis Research Network will allow the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center to continue to provide valuable research to the residents and policymakers of Florida,” said Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, dean of the FSU College of Business. “Hurricanes and the related property-insurance issues affect all Floridians.”
“We are excited to be working closely with the center to help address the specific challenges and risks faced by the Florida insurance marketplace,” said Julie Serakos, executive vice president of Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of global insurance broker Willis Group Holdings. “Pat (Maroney) and his team have a unique skill set in catastrophe finance, catastrophe modeling and Florida policy issues, all of which will facilitate the development of practical solutions for the insurance stakeholders in the state.”
The Willis Research Network will provide Florida State with long-term funding to develop and integrate leading research into insurance risk management, modeling and decision making. FSU joins U.S. Willis Research Network members including Princeton University, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Scripps Institute and the University of Colorado.