Triple-I: Milwaukee Offers Model for Cities to Mitigate Flood Risk


For immediate release Florida
Press Office: Mark Friedlander, 904-806-7813,  

ST. JOHNS, Fla., Dec. 6, 2023 –The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is mitigating the city’s flood risks using reforestation, wetlands restoration, and other nature-based solutions (NBS), according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).

In a report released today, which included contributions from Triple-I Chief Economist and Data Scientist Dr. Michel Léonard, CBE, and Triple-I Senior Research Analyst Jeff Dunsavage, details were offered about the MMSD’s ambitious Restoration and Wetland Restoration (RWR) program.  It will lead to the following over the next 10 years:

  • Planting 6 million trees
  • Restoring 4,000 acres of wetlands
  • Capturing an estimated 350 million gallons of stormwater with trees
  • Storing up to an estimated 1.5 million gallons of floodwater in every acre of wetland

“Our interviews with local community leaders suggest that urban flooding is a top priority for communities as they face more intense rain events. Community engagement is needed to build trust and overcome organizational funding/capacity constraints,” the report stated.

The report featured Triple-I’s analysis of the RWR Program on community resilience. The analysis used Triple-I’s Community Resilience Ratings’ quantitative methodology that is comprised of the following components:

  • Insurance protection gap, socio-economic risk drivers, and speed of recovery after extreme weather events, based on energy consumption patterns
  • Literature on nature-based solutions and resilience to extreme-weather events and climate risk at the municipal level
  • Growing literature on credit ratings methodology that factor climate into a municipality’s capacity to service its debt obligations
  • Overall credit rating process’ regulatory framework

In addition, Triple-I stressed the benefits of parametric insurance—policies which pay out a fixed dollar amount, no matter the property damage incurred—for mitigating flood risks.

“Community-based programs can incorporate a combination of parametric insurance and traditional indemnity coverage,” the report stated. “Unlike indemnity insurance, parametric structures cover risks without the complications of sending adjusters to assess damage after an event. Instead of paying for damage that has occurred, parametric insurance pays out if certain agreed-upon conditions are met. If coverage is triggered, a payment is made.”

A recently launched parametric flood insurance program to benefit  low- and moderate-income households in New York City is a joint effort of insurers, technology firms and government agencies.


Articles:                       Spotlight on Flood Insurance; In Case of Flood

Issues Brief:                Flood: State of the Risk

Facts + Statistics:        Flood Insurance

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