November 23rd, 2012

Week’s Top Stories: November 17 - 23, 2012

Posted at 12:30 PM ET

Catastrophe Models: Implications of Emerging Market Growth on the (Re)insurance Sector:  Natural disaster risk assessment relies on probabilistic catastrophe models and historical data. The three main catastrophe modeling companies, AIR Worldwide (AIR), EQECAT and Risk Management Solutions (RMS), have therefore traditionally created modeling solutions for perils and territories considered to be peak risks. Although each modeling company has in recent years launched products for countries outside the more established markets of the United States and Western Europe, several gaps in coverage remain, particularly in emerging markets.

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Superstorm Sandy: Initial Impacts and Implications: Guy Carpenter has published a new briefing: Superstorm Sandy: Initial Impacts and Implications. As documented by the National Hurricane Center, Superstorm Sandy made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone at 8PM EDT, Monday, Oct 29, 2012, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour.

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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 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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Terrorism: Global Terror Attacks and Hotspots: The increasingly diverse and dispersed threat has seen worldwide terrorist activity rise in recent years. The number of global terrorist attacks peaked at more than 14,400 in 2006 (see Figure 1). Although there has been a slight dip in the number of attacks over the last five years, they remain at historically high levels. Attacks increased dramatically in Afghanistan and Iraq following the deployment of coalition combat troops. Several other countries have also witnessed a big jump in terrorist activity recently, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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Guy Carpenter Publishes Second Annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks Report: Guy Carpenter has published its second annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks, a resource designed to help insurers assess risk parameters and improve economic capital modeling. The report provides benchmarks for underwriting and reserve risk by line of business and by industry segment for U.S. exposures, and can be used by insurers when benchmarking their economic capital models.

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Periodic Payment Orders - Issues and Implications for Reinsurance: Following the passage of the Courts Act 2003, which gave courts in England and Wales the power to impose rest-of-life structured settlements, known as periodical payment orders (PPOs) to provide for the long-term care and loss of earnings of severely injured third parties, the actual incidence of such awards in the market has been relatively low. It is clear however that the trend towards PPOs has accelerated over the past year, partly driven by low interest rates. This trend presents real challenges to both insurers and reinsurers of casualty classes, particularly for motor.

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