Data traditionally used for the insurance industry can now benefit the development sector
Impact Forecasting, Aon Benfield’s catastrophe model development team, has incorporated its latest earthquake data into the new tool, ThinkHazard!. Produced by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), housed under the World Bank, this tool supports disaster risk reduction and preparedness. Aon Benfield is the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon plc (NYSE:AON).
The online tool enables development specialists to determine the potential likelihood of eight natural hazards and what actions they should take to make their project resilient, from enhanced evacuation planning to promoting improved building codes.
Impact Forecasting has collated earthquake hazard data for 31 countries, including coverage of the six countries identified as priorities by GFDRR, which triggered the collaboration. These comprise: Bosnia Herzegovina, Kenya, Morocco, Serbia, Turkey and Uganda.
The Impact Forecasting data shows the probability of earthquake shaking across each country. This data is visualized within ThinkHazard!, as aggregated to administrative units, labelled as high, medium and low hazard, and linked to recommendations of how to reduce risk. The data is derived from Impact Forecasting’s catastrophe models which have been developed by its in-house seismologists, in collaboration with earthquake experts and engineers at academic institutions and agencies including GFZ German Research Centre for Geoscience
Chris Ewing, Business Development Manager at Aon Benfield Impact Forecasting, commented: “The insurance industry has traditionally focused on how we effectively react and pay claims following a disaster – using insights from catastrophe models to help prepare. Now, we have the opportunity with the World Bank to help risk reduction specialists to plan ahead. This underpins Aon’s commitment for sharing data and analytics to empower communities in both preparing for catastrophes and helping to rebuild lives and livelihoods in the aftermath. It is a privilege to be part of this project.”
“ThinkHazard! is a tool that will get natural disaster information into the hands of people who really need to know. It is our duty to equip project leaders and developers with information on what hazards exist, but also with knowledge on how to make their projects resilient to all major natural hazards today and into the future”, said Dr. Alanna Simpson, Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist and Leader of GFDRR’s Innovation Lab. She continued: “This tool, developed alongside our partners over the last two years, provides a one-stop-shop to inform users on the hazards within their geographic area and how to make their project resilient throughout project design and implementation.”
The Impact Forecasting hazard data, plus associated risk score data, is available to insurance and corporate companies to understand and better quantify earthquake catastrophe risk and the impact on their property portfolios. In addition to earthquake, Impact Forecasting also produces risk scores for flood, windstorm and terrorism.