Geo risk expertise pooled on a new Globe of Natural Hazards

2009/05/06

Today, at its General Branch in London, Munich Re presented its unique state-of-the-art tool designed to identify new focal points in underwriting complex risks from natural hazards. The so-called Globe of Natural Hazards contains extensive knowledge in the field of geo risks. The DVD tool is intended to support Munich Re’s clients and society in general in the evaluation of these risks. It represents a progression from the World Map of Natural Hazards, a very successful series of Munich Re publications which, since first appearing in 1978, has established itself as a standard work for the identification and evaluation of natural hazards.

Board member Georg Daschner: "For Munich Re, risk research is a crucial discipline that enables us to steer the course of our business in the long term, while performing our role as the insurance industry’s knowledge carrier. Products like the Globe of Natural Hazards and the know-how incorporated in it assist in profitable underwriting of complex natural hazard risks. At the same time, we strive to put our clients in a position to control their risks more efficiently, too."

The unique service product shows users the degree of exposure to storms, floods, earthquakes, hailstorms, or other natural hazards at any point on earth.

With claims burdens constantly increasing worldwide, detailed analysis of natural hazards is of immense significance, not only for the insurance industry. Land-use planning at regional and municipal level and disaster reduction can all benefit from the information contained in the Globe of Natural Hazards. New hazard maps for hailstorms, tornadoes, and hazards in coastal regions have been integrated. A further central element is the integration of the hazard scenarios impacted by climate change. In recent years, for example, there have been relevant increases in the hurricane hazard in the Caribbean and on the coasts of North America and in the hazard of extreme atmospheric events like hailstorms and heavy rain in Europe.

"The work of our risk research team, whose findings are conveyed in part by the Globe of Natural Hazards, helps us and our clients to identify new focal points in underwriting. This is important to keep these risks insurable. In addition, we use this expertise to develop profitable business, enabling us to offer insurance solutions in new areas like offshore wind farms and large solar and geothermal plants," Board member Daschner continues. "Independent of the question of insurance, politics and society bear a major responsibility in terms of steering exposure and reducing loss potentials. This includes, for example, the adaptation of land use to the respective hazard situation and the stipulation and enforcement of building regulations. This is exactly where our new product can provide good support."

"The Globe of Natural Hazards is unique both in its makeup and in the knowledge it incorporates. It is a means of contributing towards enhanced risk awareness – on the part of our clients, but also on the part of the public, companies, and authorities," says Andreas Siebert, project leader and head of Geospatial Solutions at Munich Re.

 

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