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AIR Worldwide updates earthquake model for Australia

30th July 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Catastrophe risk modelling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR) announced the release of its updated Earthquake Model for Australia.

The updates were prompted by findings in the National Seismic Hazard Model from Geoscience Australia (GA), which challenged established ideas about seismic activity in the country and significantly decreased the view of seismic hazard.

The new model captures the effects of earthquake-induced ground shaking and liquefaction on risks located in continental Australia and the island of Tasmania.

“This model has been developed to meet the wide spectrum of earthquake risk management needs of the insurance industry and we took a careful and thoughtful approach in order to deliver this update,” said Jayanta Guin, Executive Vice President and Chief Research Officer, AIR Worldwide.

In other updates to the model, AIR has developed a historical catalogue that incorporates GA’s 2018 historical data as well as additional events from global sources.

The model’s fault database has similarly been updated based on GA’s updated 2018 fault model and expanded to 391 faults, including a recent fault discovered as a result of the 2018 Lake Muir Earthquake.

Additionally, the vulnerability framework now uses intensity-based damage functions and has been expanded to include explicit support for new risk types including marine hull, marine cargo, and builder’s risk.

“The updated model’s revised view of the seismic hazard and updated vulnerability functions provide a better match to historical losses,” said Guin.

“These updates allow for AIR to continue to provide a comprehensive and scientifically credible earthquake model for Australia.”

As a supplement to this model, AIR is releasing nine Extreme Disaster Scenarios (EDS), meant to provide clients with additional scenarios to assist in stress testing and assessing the impact of large loss events.

The AIR Earthquake Model for Australia is available in the 2020 releases of Touchstone and Touchstone Re catastrophe risk management systems.

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