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2022 Innovation Awards: SimZone on Tour



FM Global
SimZone on tour

Businesses face increasing challenges from climate risks, with floods, hurricanes and wildfires causing billions of dollars in property damage each year and disrupting supply chains.

FM Global’s SimZone—a warehouse-sized training facility in Norwood, Massachusetts—opened in 2011 to provide risk professionals with hands-on training by simulating property risks and helping them take steps to mitigate risk. Its success led to a second SimZone facility in Singapore which opened earlier this year.

But what if a wider group of risk managers, C-suite executives and others could get the same interactive experience without having to hop on a plane? That̵

7;s how SimZone on Tour was born.

In a world of limited travel due to tight budgets and the pandemic, SimZone on the road allows more risk professionals to see how they can control the impact of climate risk on their business, said Connor Gormley, human resources vice president and brand experience program manager at FM Global in Johnston, Rhode Iceland.

“The motivation for this was to get a wider reach. Instead of maybe just one or two people traveling to our facility, when we show up right outside a customer site, we can see 100 or more per day,” says Gormley.

“It helps us get the word out and gets everyone in the organization aligned on how they’re helping to protect property,” he said.

Risk managers who step aboard the 53-foot extendable tractor-trailer can begin their experience on the insurer’s global flood map, which provides an aerial view of what their flood exposure might be.

They then work through a facility flood scenario, get their hands wet at an interactive flood table, and learn how flood barriers and other devices can prevent loss. When the facility floods again, they see how successful they were in reducing the loss. They also get to test and compare different materials and products to protect their buildings.

Since launching at the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc. conference in San Francisco in April, SimZone on Tour has visited a dozen states and hosted 400 to 500 risk managers per month, mostly at policyholder locations, Gormley said.

The experience, offered at no cost to the mutual insurer’s policyholders, can be tailored to each business based on its exposures. More than 50% of its focus is on climate, particularly flooding, high winds and bushfires, Gormley said.


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