Risk management: Be ready with up-to-date maps

The countries that border the Gulf of Mexico are particularly at risk from natural catastrophes such as hurricanes. This is an area for which insurers and reinsurers require accurate, up-to-date maps for risk management. The new GfK maps of the Americas make it possible to determine precise risk probabilities.

GfK GeoMarketing's maps are the bridge between actual risks, software- and statistics-based risk models and the objects to be insured. Regional accumulation risks can be determined and then precisely localized and evaluated on digital maps by using postcodes contained in the addresses of insured objects. A comparison of the computer-generated occurrence probabilities and the possible damages makes it possible to determine sustainable contract conditions for both insurers and reinsurers.

"Central America is a very important region for insurers and reinsurers, and a precise cartographic basis is essential for their analyses of natural catastrophe-related risks," explains Klaus Dittmann, head of cartography at GfK GeoMarketing. "Special postcode maps provide the basis for geocoding locations relevant to insurers, including residential structures, hotels, manufacturing plants, refineries, etc. Also, the highly detailed coastlines comprise a distinguishing feature of our maps and are absolutely indispensable for evaluating risk in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Many insured objects are located near coastlines and are therefore at increased risk from natural disasters such as storms and floods. The precise localization of insured objects is consequently a necessity for the survival of insurance companies."“

Postcode level damage analysis of three large 2008 hurricanes - GfK GeoMarketing

Up-to-date, digital cartographic basis for all of America

An up-to-date, digital cartographic basis is now available for all of Central America, providing insurers and reinsurers support for risk management activities. Detailed and seamlessly fitting maps of postal and administrative units are available for all Central American countries from Mexico to Panama. The new maps also fit seamlessly with the worldwide, official CRESTA natural disaster zones. GfK GeoMarketing is the official provider of the worldwide CRESTA maps. In addition to worldwide map coverage, the company has many years of experience in the production of maps custom-tailored to the needs of the insurance and reinsurance industry.

All of GfK GeoMarketing's maps of Central America were digitized and refined using the latest cartographic sources. The level of detail corresponds to a scale of at least 1:100,000 when compared to conventional paper maps. In many places - such as coastlines - the coverage is significantly more detailed.

Detailed postcode maps

For example, a map of Mexico's two-digit postcodes is now available for the first time. Administrative boundaries have been comprehensively updated and reflect the latest status of 2,456 municipalities and 32 states. There have also been a lot of changes in the digitization of Mexico's cities. The maps now feature around 3,500 cities and municipalities, organized into five population size categories with coverage down to a size bracket of under 10,000 inhabitants. The 2010 maps of Mexico also depict the most important streets and bodies of water, providing a detailed cartographic basis for all possible applications in the insurance industry.

Maps for other Central American countries have been updated and expanded in the same way, including Belize, Bermuda, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama as well as all Caribbean islands and states. All map objects feature both native and international place-name attributions. As such, the new maps fit seamlessly with the worldwide labeling schema used by GfK GeoMarketing.

Available in all standard formats, including *.shp (ESRI) and *.mid/*.mif (MapInfo)

Like all of the digital maps provided by GfK GeoMarketing, the new maps of Central America are available in all standard digital map formats, including *.shp (ESRI), *.mid/*.mif (MapInfo), *.gdb (Geodatabase) and Oracle-compatible formats. Some of the features of the new map editions include comprehensive coverage, seamlessly fitting and overlap-free boundaries and map levels, national and local place-name attributions and infinite zoom capability.


Doris Steffen - GfK GeoMarketingDoris Steffen
T +49 7251 9295 220

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