Risk Associated with Extreme Wind Events from a Property Insurance Standpoint​

Risk Associated with Extreme Wind Events from a Property Insurance Standpoint​

March 12, 2021
1:00 PM
Eastern Standard Time (EST)

Richard J. DavisP.E., FSFPE, M.ASCE, Staff Vice President and Senior Engineering Technical Specialist, FM Global, Chief Engineer’s Group

Webinar Recording: 

Webinar Documents
Risk Associated with Extreme Wind Events from a Property Insurance Standpoint​ - pdf of presentation
Q&A Session - pdf 

Description: Extreme wind events, such as tropical cyclones, are a serious concern for building owners and property insurers worldwide. While codes and AHJs address many key issues related to building construction, with few exceptions, there is much more focus on life safety than property protection. 

Property insurers must balance their engineering costs with loss costs to provide cost effective insurance. Property owners can choose to accept the premise that loss from wind events is inevitable and transfer the risk at prevailing insurance rates or take a resilient approach that effectively protects property damage and business impact. The focus must be limited to construction features most likely to fail during a hurricane. For industrial, institutional, and commercial buildings; this includes perimeter roof edge flashing, roof coverings and roof decks, wall cladding, windows, and roof mounted equipment. For several reasons, building framework rarely fails and it is seldom cost effective for an insurer to invest significant engineering costs to analyze it. 

In this presentation we will address why cost effective, property protection wind design concerns are justified vs. just meeting minimum code requirements. We will also address common mistakes designers make in designing and constructing the building envelope.

Presentation Photos/Graphics:
figure1-roof-deck-damageFigure 1: Roof deck damaged from hurricane in Gulf Coast.

Figure 2: The vast majority of areas impacted by a hurrcane experience wind gust
speeds at or below design speeds, yet there is still considerable
property damage in those areas.

Figure 3: Windows are damaged from wind pressure and windborne debris,
resulting in water damage to the interior and increased wind pressure on the building.

Figure 4: Roof mounted solar panels are often underdesigned for wind.


A consortium of five universities, are formed, to provide the nation, with the state of the art engineering solutions, to make the existing and new infrastructure, located in the eastern coastal and gulf areas, resilient to extreme events, such as hurricanes and flooding, including manmade events, such as terrorist acts. Further, to provide the decision makers, with tools and solutions to ensure that these coastal areas are able to return to normal operation, with minimal interruption to normal day-to-day life.

Florida International University (FIU), as a lead along with University of Maine, Texas A&M University, Louisiana State University and University of Oklahoma are members of the consortium. Please contact Dr. Atorod Azizinamini, at aazizina@fiu.edu, if you are interested in becoming a member.