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A Note to the User of This File

Visit to check updates for this chapter.

This file as well as all other Power Point files for the book, “Risk Management and Insurance: Perspectives in a Global Economy” authored by Skipper and Kwon and published by Blackwell (2007), has been created solely for classes where the book is used as a text. Use or reproduction of the file by any means, known or to be known, is prohibited without prior written permission by the authors who can be contacted at [email protected]

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Risk Management and Insurance: Perspectives in a Global Economy5. Catastrophe Risk Assessment: Natural Hazards

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points to ponder
Points to Ponder
  • Catastrophic events: definitions and trends
  • Types of natural disasters
  • Gee Gees (Insight 5.3)
swiss re definition for 2005 reporting period
Swiss Re Definition for 2005 Reporting Period

For 2006 Reporting Period:

Shipping – 16.1M

Aviation – 32.2 M

Other Losses – 40 M

Or Total Losses – 80M

overall and insured losses
Overall and Insured Losses
  • Yearly economic and insured losses from great natural catastrophes, along with trend lines for each.
  • Economic reasons explain much of the concentration trend.
    • Additionally, people are drawn to areas that hold potential for greater economic prosperity, such as cities.
  • Personal reasons explain this concentration trend.
  • Figure 5.2
types of natural disasters
Types of Natural Disasters
  • Earthquakes
  • Storms
  • Floods
  • Volcanism
world map of natural hazards

Volcanic Eruption




Source: World of Natural Hazards (2000)

World Map of Natural Hazards
  • Earthquakes are caused by friction between moving tectonic plates.
    • Earthquakes originate at fairly well-defined faults.
  • The Pacific Rim is especially prone to earthquake activity
    • Ring of Fire (Figure 5.3)
  • Recent events
    • 1976 Tangshan, China
    • 2003 Iranian earthquake
    • 2005 in Kashmir, Pakistan
tsunamis and earthquakes
Tsunamis and Earthquakes
  • Tsunami
    • Large, rapidly moving ocean waves produced by the displacement of water caused by earthquakes, landslides, volcanic eruptions or even a sufficiently large meteorite impact.
  • December 26, 2004, Tsunami near Indonesia
  • Canary Islands (Insight 5.1)
  • Generically known as “tropical storms”
  • Various names by region
    • Typhoon
    • Severe tropical cyclone
    • Severe cyclonic storm
    • Tropical cyclone
2005 hurricane season
2005 Hurricane Season
  • A highly active start to the season
  • Peak intensity values
  • Lowest central pressure ever recorded
  • Record number of named tropical cyclones
  • New areas affected – Europe and Africa
  • Hurricane Katrina (U.S.) and a failure of government
    • Insight 5.2

Also check “A Failure of Initiative”

  • Partial or complete inundation of a normally dry land area caused by an overflow of tidal, river, or lake water or after a heavy rain
    • 100-year flood
  • Flood damage can result from a single event, such as a hurricane or thunderstorm. Floods also occur due to repeated exposure to rainfall.
  • Volcano
    • The vents in the earth’s crust through which gases, molten rock or lava, and solid fragments are discharged and to the conical shaped mountains or hills produced by the lava and other erupted material around the vent
    • Lava
    • Magma
  • Volcanic hazard assessment
  • Climate change and volcanism
discussion question 1
Discussion Question 1
  • Is your country of birth or residence immune from natural catastrophe? If not, find the records of recent natural events that caused human casualty, property damage or both. Do they meet the definition of catastrophe by an international organization or insurer?
discussion question 2
Discussion Question 2
  • Discuss why tsunamis are closely related to earthquakes.
discussion question 3
Discussion Question 3
  • What are the possible factors affecting the rise of natural catastrophes in modern society? Describe the factors also reflecting the environments in the region with which you are familiar (e.g., the Caribbean, northern European or South Pacific).
discussion question 4
Discussion Question 4
  • Investigate the process of recovery from Hurricane Katrina (U.S.), the 2004 tsunami (Indian Ocean), or any major natural catastrophe in recent years. Examine the scale, scope and speed of the process to estimate how long it will take to complete it.