Dude, Where’s My Coastline?


One of the most common usages of geospatial data in the insurance industry is a “distance to coast” calculation. The goal is to find out how far a location is from the coastline, then make underwriting and/or pricing decisions based on that data. Why? Because coastlines are right next to seawater. A cubic yard of seawater weighs 1728 pounds and can be mightily destructive.


As odd as this may seem, the problem is…what’s the coastline? For example, if your local marina is across the street from your home – but the “beach” is three miles away – which is the “shore?” Is the shoreline the place where salt water can rush into your home, or the nearest spot with problematic parking on a hot summer day?


This is a problem inherent to many low-lying areas across both coasts in the US but is especially prevalent in the Southeast. Many former low-lying, marshy areas have been transformed into places to live and work. While the homes and businesses have come, the water hasn’t gone away.


At HazardHub, we approach this problem differently. We don’t give you a single “distance to coast” – we give you two. Our “high resolution” shoreline provides the distance to the nearest salt water and/or inlets that are directly impacted by saltwater/oceanic behaviors. For example, here’s an address in Norfolk, VA. (All maps are courtesy of Google Maps)


1147 Harmony Rd Norfolk VA


Low-Resolution Distance to Shore:                5.16 Miles

High-Resolution Distance to Shore:                1,057.82 Feet


Here’s a second address, this time in Jacksonville, FL


8710 Lem Turner Rd


Low-Resolution Distance to Shore:                15.64 Miles

High-Resolution Distance to Shore:                1,034.03 Feet


While some systems will tell you this address is a LONG way from a shoreline, it’s a short distance to an inlet that’s impacted by oceanic behavior.  This also means the address scores a “D” in the HazardHub Storm Surge model.


The Gulf Coast is especially susceptible to this issue. Here’s an address in Beaumont, Texas –

623 Dayton St Beaumont TX

Low-Resolution Distance to Shore:                23.59 Miles

High-Resolution Distance to Shore:                1,481.9 Feet


This property sits in a zone that is not covered by FEMA digital maps, so it has no FEMA Flood score. It does score an “F” in the HazardHub Flood Model, as well as a “D” in the HazardHub Storm Surge model.


If you want the most accurate distance to shore measurements available, there’s only one place to go – HazardHub. Our job is to provide the most accurate, cutting-edge data available in the market – including basic yet important elements like Distance to Shore.


To see how far YOUR property is from the Shore – as well as all the perils associated with that property – head on over to


If you want to run a lot of addresses via our super-fast API, contact us today!


The Three Little Pigs teach Risk Mitigation

The three most famous houses for risk exposure are the one made of straw, the one made of sticks, and the one made of bricks.  Occupied by our friends, the three little pigs.
These three houses face extreme local straight-line wind exposure courtesy of the Big Bad Wolf.  The key lesson taught by this fable is that the better prepared you are for risk exposure, the more likely it is that you’ll come out on the bright side after the risk has passed.  Unfortunately, we see it every day that some children and many adults did not heed this moral.
Enter HazardHub.