November 08, 2018 | IN Blog

HazardHub Releases Frozen Pipe Score, Ice Dam Score and enhanced Weather Variables

An average of a quarter of a million American families have one or more rooms in their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter by water pipes freezing and breaking. Until today, the insurance industry has struggled to get their collective hands around this multi-billion dollar risk.

Introducing the Frozen Pipe Score and Ice Dam score from HazardHub!

Frozen Pipe Score

Numerous studies have shown the “threshold” temperature for frozen pipes is when the temperature falls below 20°F for more than 24 hours in areas where freezing is not normally expected and pipes are unprotected in crawl spaces and attics.  In areas that experience long periods of winter weather, pipes are generally better protected, but freezing pipes can still occur if bitter temperatures persist for several days.  The problem is, therefore, a function of both temperature and duration.

The HazardHub Frozen Pipe Score is based on long-term weather records from over 7,000 weather stations.  The final score is based on long-term average minimum temperatures, the number of days in which the maximum temperature is below freezing, the number of winter days below 0° and below 20°, plus several other variables.  It is a numeric scale (0 -365).  The ordinal scale has also been bucketed into 5 grades (A – F) based upon logical breaks in the data.

Ice Dam Score

Another potential risk for homes in colder areas are ice dams. An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof.  The Ice dam occurs when melting snow water flows from a warmer part of a roof to the unheated portions of the eaves.  The water freezes and, over time, builds up into a dam which traps melting water, forcing it under the shingles and through the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

Ice dams are a function of both temperature and snowfall.  Without sufficient snow on the roof, even the coldest temperatures will not produce ice dams.  The HazardHub Ice Dam Score combines the severity and duration of below-freezing weather (all of the variables in the Frozen Pipe score) with the amount and duration of snow cover to create a numeric scale (0 – 665).  This ordinal scale has also been bucketed into 5 grades (A -F).


New Weather Data

In order to build our Frozen Pipe and Ice Dam scores, we needed to generate a tremendous amount of new weather data variables. Rather than keep them to ourselves, we’ve chosen to make them directly available to our users. While we’re mostly focused on our property & casualty lines of business, we also think this data will be helpful for Auto writers. Of course, there’s no extra charge for the additional data.

For a test address in Massachusetts, here’s how the enhanced Weather Data will appear in the HazardHub API –

weather_params: {

  • annual_average_days_less_than_0: “1.3 Days”,
  • annual_average_days_less_than_10: “10.6 Days”,
  • annual_average_days_less_than_20: “39.4 Days”,
  • annual_average_days_more_than_40: “309.4 Days”,
  • annual_average_days_more_than_50: “245.4 Days”,
  • annual_fall_days_less_than_0: “0.0 Days”,
  • annual_fall_days_less_than_10: “0.0 Days”,
  • annual_fall_days_less_than_20: “1.0 Days”,
  • annual_fall_days_less_than_32: “15.9 Days”,
  • annual_spring_days_less_than_0: “0.0 Days”,
  • annual_spring_days_less_than_10: “0.4 Days”,
  • annual_spring_days_less_than_20: “4.4 Days”,
  • annual_spring_days_less_than_32: “28.4 Days”,
  • annual_winter_days_less_than_0: “1.3 Days”,
  • annual_winter_days_less_than_10: “10.1 Days”,
  • annual_winter_days_less_than_20: “34.1 Days”,
  • annual_winter_days_less_than_40: “86.9 Days”,
  • average_annual_precipitation: “50.3 Inches”,
  • average_annual_temperature_max: “58.9 Degrees F”,
  • average_annual_temperature_min: “41.1 Degrees F”,
  • avg_num_days_below_32_degrees: null,
  • avg_num_winter_days_below_32_degrees: “74.2 Days”,
  • cooling_degree_days: “525.0 Degrees F”,
  • fall_diurnal_range: “18.4 Degrees F”,
  • fall_days_with_max_temp_less_than_32: “0.1 Days”,
  • heating_degree_days: “5999.0 Degrees F”,
  • spring_days_with_max_temp_less_than_32: “1.3 Days”,
  • spring_diurnal_range: “17.9 Degrees F”,
  • winter_days_with_max_temp_less_than_32: “16.7 Days”,
  • winter_diurnal_range: “17.5 Degrees F”,
  • average_annual_snowfall: “36.1 Inches”,
  • average_days_snowfall_greater_than_10_inches: “29.2 Days”,
  • average_days_snowfall_greater_than_1_inch: “29.2 Days”,
  • average_fall_snowfall: “1.0 Inches”,
  • average_spring_snowfall: “7.5 Inches”,
  • average_winter_snowfall: “27.6 Inches”,
  • avg_days_snow_depth_above_10_in: “29.2 Days”,
  • avg_days_snowfall_above_1_in: “29.2 Days”,
  • fall_days_snow_depth_greater_than_10_inches: “0.1 Days”,
  • fall_days_snow_depth_greater_than_1_inch: “0.4 Days”,
  • fall_days_snow_depth_greater_than_3_inches: “0.2 Days”,
  • fall_days_snow_depth_greater_than_5_inches: “0.2 Days”,
  • spring_days_snow_depth_greater_than_10_inches: “0.2 Days”,
  • spring_days_snow_depth_greater_than_1_inch: “4.5 Days”,
  • spring_days_snow_depth_greater_than_3_inches: “2.8 Days”,
  • spring_days_snow_depth_greater_than_5_inches: “1.2 Days”,
  • winter_days_snow_depth_greater_than_10_inches: “2.5 Days”,
  • winter_days_snow_depth_greater_than_1_inch: “24.3 Days”,
  • winter_days_snow_depth_greater_than_3_inches: “14.3 Days”,
  • winter_days_snow_depth_greater_than_5_inches: “8.8 Days”

(This home scores a “D” for both Frozen Pipes and Ice Dams.)

We’re super-excited to add these new data elements to our API. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!