University of Cambridge > > Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) > Working with Natural Hazards: Perspectives from a Catastrophe Modelling Company

Working with Natural Hazards: Perspectives from a Catastrophe Modelling Company

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Global society has long been influenced by natural hazards, but as populations continue to grow in areas of high hazard, the humanitarian and economic cost will continue to increase. Insurance can play a pivotal role in the resilience of communities to natural hazards and their ability to recover from catastrophic events. However the insurance industry is not a bottomless pit of finance and only 24 years ago, major natural hazards resulted in the insolvency of many large insurance companies. In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, the way in which the insurance industry estimated property risk changed, with the implementation of increasingly sophisticated catastrophe models. As a result, the industry has built up a financial resilience to natural hazards.

AIR Worldwide founded the catastrophe modelling industry back in 1987 with the release of the first catastrophe model, a probabilistic hurricane model for the United States. Today, AIR model a range of natural hazard and personal liability perils, from earthquake, hurricane, flood, tsunami, storm surge and bushfire through to terrorism and pandemic. This presentation will walk through the hazard, vulnerability, exposure and financial building blocks of catastrophe models, illustrating how the expertise of geoscientists is leveraged.

This talk is part of the Department of Earth Sciences Seminars (downtown) series.

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