CRESTA Zones (Catastrophe Risk Evaluation and Standardising Target Accumulations) are part of an international geographic zoning system which helps brokers and reinsurers manage natural hazard risk. While peril-independent, CRESTA Zones are an established and uniform method to electronically transfer aggregated exposure data for accumulation, risk control and modelling among insurers and reinsurers.
Countries shown in red are covered by zones in the CRESTA 2013 standard
Who created the CRESTA zones standard?
The CRESTA standard was originally developed as a joint project of Swiss Reinsurance Company, Gerling-Konzern Globale Reinsurance Company and the Munich Reinsurance Company. Today, the secrtariat roll alternates between Swiss Re (Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd., Zurich) and Munich Re (Münchener Rückversicherungs-Gesellschaft, Munich). The CRESTA Secretariat is currently with Munich Re.
How often are CRESTA zones updated?
The CRESTA standard is only updated every few years. This is problematic since many zones were defined by postal/zip codes. Postal authorities change post/zip codes all the time but the CRESTA standard is effectively frozen. For example, the US Postal Service has issued over 240 zip code changes in 2014, but none of these will be reflected in the CRESTA standard. Sadly, the gap between the latest post/zip code data and the standard is widening daily and it is not safe to assume that a building with post/zip code 12345 will be in CRESTA zone XXX_12345.
Digital CRESTA zones – Global CRESTA Plus
Europa Technologies (UK), working in cooperation with MB International (Germany), has released an independent GIS implementation of the standard called Global CRESTA Plus. Europa Technologies was part of the team who brought the standard into the digital mapping era and has maintained a CRESTA zone mapping implementation longer than any other vendor. Using their experience as a supplier to Fortune Global 500 companies, including Google (Google Earth / Google Maps), Global CRESTA Plus is the only known product to implement the standard in the context of a well-maintained, up-to-date, political map.