June 25th, 2010

Week’s Top Stories: June 19 - June 25, 2010

Posted at 11:00 AM ET

A National Flood Modeling Solution for Mainland France:   Guy Carpenter has developed a state-of-the-art probabilistic flood model for mainland France in collaboration with hydrological and hydraulic modeling experts, JBA Consulting (JBA) and Intermap Technologies (Intermap), a global provider of high-quality 3D digital elevation models.

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2010 Hurricane Season Begins: Knowing, Understanding and Better Managing the Risks:   The 2010 hurricane season kicked-off on June 1 and the meteorological forces wasted no time in getting down to business. Tropical storm Agatha slammed into Central America, killing at least 101 people. The hurricane season kick-off and the storm occurred as backdrops to the wrap up of the June 1, 2010 reinsurance renewals, traditionally centered on the Florida property marketplace.

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Terrorism - Reinsurers Standing By:   As we approach the ninth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, the threat from terrorism continues to pose a risk to the (re)insurance industry. The nature of the threat has changed since 2001, but terrorism remains a constant and serious risk with global recorded terror incidents at historic highs. Terrorist organizations operating in unstable countries present a danger to the world, and the recent flurry of terrorist activity serves as a reminder that individuals and groups remain a serious threat.

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Floods in Southeast France:   Heavy rain on June 15-16 has triggered severe flash floods in southeastern France, killing at least 22 people according to the latest estimates from local authorities. The damage and disruption has been widespread, with hundreds of homes inundated and thousands reported to be without electricity or phone lines. Officials said around 10 people remain missing and they fear the death toll could rise. The southeastern province of Alpes Cote d’Azur has been particularly badly affected, with officials in the Var department saying that damage is severe. Reports said that between 1,500 and 2,500 people were forced to evacuate their homes and spend the night in schools or other temporary shelters, and some 104,000 houses remain without electricity in the aftermath of the flooding.

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Risk Profile, Appetite, and Tolerance:   Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness: Prior to the recent turbulence in the financial markets, insurers and reinsurers were increasing their use of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) to make risk and capital management decisions. While this was driven in part by rating agencies and regulators, many carriers began to recognize the value of metric-based frameworks and capital models in evaluating their portfolios.

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Impact of Earnings Volatility on Price/Book Ratios:   The link between a company’s earnings and its share price is intuitive and well documented. Equally logical, although far less studied, is the correlation between the volatility of earnings and share price. The favorable impact of stable earnings on market valuation is intuitive considering market capitalization represents a view of future discounted cash flows and unexpected earnings volatility reduces the predictability of those cash flows.

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