European winter storm clusters tackled by RPI

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Zurich was the site of a joint workshop on the issues surrounding the impacts of winter storms in Europe, held between the Risk Prediction Initiative (RPI) of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and the risk modelling company RMS.

A BIOS statement explained the workshop, held last week, covered issues that are of importance to a large sector of the re/insurance industry.” Dr Mark Guishard, programme manager of RPI, was quoted as saying: “One particular aspect of European winter storms is that — in the past — they have arrived in groups, sometimes affecting the same areas of insured exposure two or three times in rapid succession. This phenomenon is known as ‘clustering’, and can create headaches for insurers and reinsurers underwriting risk in Europe.”

BIOS said the RPI gathered a group of independent experts to bring their scientific knowledge to bear on the clustering phenomenon, and RMS model developers provided insights into simulating this behaviour in a re/insurance context. RPI member companies and RMS clients “benefited from this collaborative interaction by getting insights into the model strategies that go into creating probabilistic projections of European storm activity.”

The Risk Prediction Initiative started in 1994 as a collaboration between the academic community at BIOS and the local re/insurance industry. Its role is to foster greater understanding about some of the natural processes that drive the changing face of risk.

RPI is a membership organisation whose industry members select academic projects to be funded based on the relevance and applicability of the research. RPI not only provides insight into most up-to-date science, but also provides the industry with a forum for discussing emerging and challenging catastrophe risk issues. This event is the second in a series of workshops hosted jointly between RPI and RMS.

In addition to this event, RPI hosts its annual research update workshop in Bermuda on this evening. Next month, RPI will join forces with the Bermuda Insurance Institute (BII), to bring scientists to Bermuda to talk about natural hazards. They will discuss the current scientific understanding about hurricane and tornado risk to underwriters, risk managers, catastrophe analysts, and other interested industry personnel.

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Published Oct 11, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated Oct 10, 2013 at 6:00 pm)

European winter storm clusters tackled by RPI

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