31 July 2020News

AIR Worldwide updates its tropical cyclone and earthquake models for the Caribbean

Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide has released updated tropical cyclone and earthquake models for the Caribbean.

The models provide re/insurers with a comprehensive view of risk across 29 countries and territories in the region and are available in the 2020 releases of Touchstone and Touchstone Re catastrophe risk management systems.

The AIR Tropical Cyclone Model for the Caribbean has updated its stochastic catalog to reflect current historical data. It now has new features and capabilities, including support for additional lines of business such as large industrial facilities, infrastructure and marine lines. It offers a detailed view of the temporal and spatial variation of vulnerability, and high-resolution damage functions that can estimate losses even when not all the building characteristics are known.

The upgrades are based on an enhanced industry exposure database that reflects the built environment of the region, including a detailed study of the evolution of building code requirements and construction regulation across the region.

The updated AIR Earthquake Model for the Caribbean incorporates newly added sub-perils to account for tsunami inundation and liquefaction risk. Since 2010, seismometers, accelerometers, and GPS recording stations have been installed and field surveys have been performed to understand the fault geometries at work both on land and offshore, AIR noted.

That has provided new data that can be leveraged to better understand the tectonic complexity of the Caribbean and more accurately model the risk in the updated AIR Earthquake Model for the Caribbean.

Jayanta Guin, executive vice president and chief research officer, AIR Worldwide, said: “The past several years have reaffirmed the vulnerability of the Caribbean to tropical cyclones and earthquakes. Hurricanes Maria and Irma (2017), Hurricane Dorian (2019), and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti devastated the countries they impacted, and the January 2020 earthquake in Puerto Rico was a more recent reminder of Caribbean seismic risk.”

Guin noted that recent paleoseismological studies, marine surveys and GPS data have provided new insights into seismicity in the region that inform a significantly updated fault model. “These new fault data along with a more comprehensive understanding of the tectonics of the Caribbean region overall allow researchers to better identify faults that may rupture in multi-segment ruptures,” he said.