• Effectively modeling and profitably insuring terrorism risk

    The insurance industry continues to explore ways to insure against terrorism risk, finding it a challenge despite developing various methodologies to measuring the likelihood of a terrorist attack. Terrorism experts in the insurance industry insist that because terrorism risk can be modeled, it can be effectively priced, and they note that several insurance companies are effectively modeling and profitably insuring terrorism risk today.

  • Game theory helps corporate risk manage analyze terrorism risks

    The challenges of modeling and analyzing terrorism risk are based on the reality that the adversary is one who can alter where and when to strike and has the capability to counter-attack. Before 9/11, the science of risk modeling and analysis for corporations was primarily based on data accumulated from Mother Nature, a less responsive actor. Risk models have become more precise, but this increased precision notwithstanding, terrorists are likely to act in unexpected ways. To anticipate those unexpected ways, risk managers are relying on game theory, with the assumption that exploring hypothetical situations will prepare risk managers for the unexpected.

  • Terrorism insurance should cover cyberterrorism: industry

    The Terrorism Risk Insurance Act(TRIA) is a federal backstop designed to protect insurers in the event an act of terrorism results in losses above $100 million. Industry officials question whether cyber terrorism is covered by the program, which is administered by the Treasury Department. Industry insiders note that terrorism risks have evolved since TRIA was enacted and cyberterrorism is now a real threat. TRIA should thus not simply be reauthorized with a blanket stamp of approval; instead there should be a discussion about whether acts of cyberterrorism should be explicitly included in TRIA.

  • Aon calls on U.S. to extend expiring Terrorism Risk Insurance Act

    Aon plc called on the U.S. government to extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA), saying that TRIA remains the best solution for handling the terrorism insurance exposure in the United States. Aon says that if the program is allowed to expire, more than 85 percent of insurers will no longer continue to insure terrorism risk. Ultimately, in the unfortunate event of a large-scale attack, the U.S. government would face the full burden of the associated costs of said terrorism.

  • New device will quickly detect botulinum, ricin, other biothreat agents

    Researchers are developing a medical instrument which will be able quickly to detect a suite of biothreat agents, including anthrax, ricin, botulinum, shiga, and SEB toxin. The device, once developed, approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and commercialized, would most likely be used in emergency rooms in the event of a bioterrorism incident.

  • Americans support preparation for extreme weather, coastal challenges: survey

    The challenges posed by rising sea levels and increasingly severe storms will only intensify as more Americans build along the coasts. A just-released NOAA report predicts that already crowded U.S. coastlines will become home to an additional eleven million people by 2020. A Stanford survey finds that the majority of Americans support stronger coastal development codes. Among the most popular policy solutions: stronger building codes for new structures along the coast to minimize damage, and preventing new buildings from being built near the coast.

  • U.S. suffered $119 billion in disaster-related losses in 2012

    Natural and man-made disasters contributed to $186 billion in economic losses around the world last year. The United States took the biggest hit with $119 billion in losses. Insurance claims for weather-related losses in 2012 totaled $77 billion dollars, the third most expensive losses on record. Nine of the top ten most expensive insured loss events which occurred last year happened in the United States.

  • Flood insurance program needs better approach to analyzing flood risk

    In administering the National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs a more modern approach to analyzing and managing flood risk behind levees — one that would give public officials and individual property owners a clearer idea of the risks they face and how they should address them. Because levees can reduce but not eliminate the risk of flooding, the agency should also encourage communities behind levees to use multiple methods to reduce risk and increase awareness of these risks.

  • The benefits of multi-state catastrophic risk pool

    A modeling platform from Kinetic Analysis Corp. enabled researchers to drill deeply into large volumes of storm-related data spanning nine states and 140 years. Study finds that multi-state catastrophic risk pools offer significant benefits in major tropical events.

  • Natural disasters have pushed Australia’s disaster insurance sky high

    As natural disasters and superstorms become more frequent in Australia, the insurance rates for people who live and work in vulnerable areas have skyrocketed to the point where people may have no choice but to go uninsured.

  • Insurance industry paying increasing attention to climate change-related risks

    The insurance industry, the world’s largest business with $4.6 trillion in revenues, is making larger efforts to manage climate change-related risks, according to a new study; weather- and climate-related insurance losses today average $50 billion a year; these losses have more than doubled each decade since the 1980s, adjusted for inflation

  • Turkey’s parliament authorizes military action against Syria

    Heavy Turkish artillery attacks against Syrian military targets continue for a second day, following a Wednesday’s mortar attack from inside Syria which killed five Turkish civilians; unconfirmed reports talk of a large number of Syrian military casualties; the Turkish government asked parliament for authorization to send ground units into Syria to create a buffer zone by establishing posts in strategic locations along the border, up to six miles deep inside Syria, in order to prevent similar attacks in the future; the Turkish parliament approved the request; the buffer zone, protected by the Turkish air force, will allow the anti-Assad rebels a protected areas from which to launch operations against the regime

  • Removing toxins from the environment

    A Florida State University chemist’s work could lead to big improvements in our ability to detect and eliminate specific toxic substances in our environment; the novel approach is based on stripping electrons from the toxic chemical known as fluoride; in addition to toxin removal, the approach has many other applications

  • July flooding in China causes $8.3 billion of economic losses

    Insurance industry faces agriculture losses from China to the United States in July 2012: flooding caused more than $8.3 billion in economic losses across China during July, while the worst drought in decades worsened across much of the United States; severe weather also prompted widespread damage in parts of the United States and Europe

  • Deadly Italy earthquakes result in $6 billion economic loss

    Two earthquakes and subsequent aftershocks struck northern Italy within a 9-day period, killing twenty-five people, injuring more than 400 others and causing extensive damage to the cultural heritage throughout the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, in addition to businesses and personal property; prolonged periods of rain affected China throughout the month of May, with at least 143,000 homes damaged or destroyed