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Catastrophe Modeling: A New Approach to Managing Risk (Huebner International Series on Risk, Insurance and Economic Security)

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This book had its genesis in June 1996 when the Wharton Risk
Management and Decision Processes Center (Wharton Risk Center) co-hosted
a conference on “Information Technology and Its Impact on Catastrophic
Risks”. It was one of the events that year celebrating the Anniversary of
the first computer (ENIAC) at the University of Pennsylvania. The focus of
the conference was on the challenges in dealing with natural disasters. There
had been two catastrophic events several years before — Hurricane Andrew
in 1992 and the Northridge earthquake in 1994 — that had raised grave
concerns within the private and public sectors as to what steps should be taken
to deal with future losses from these and other natural hazards. The
conference featured presentations by scientific experts on assessing these
risks, three leading firms [AIR Worldwide, EQECAT and Risk Management
Solutions (RMS)] on modeling the risks using information technology, and
the development of new strategies by insurers, reinsurers and financial
institutions for managing catastrophic risks.

Over the past 8 years, representatives from all these constituencies
have worked together as part of the Wharton Managing Catastrophic Risks
project to examine the role of catastrophe modeling in assessing and
managing natural disaster risk. This book is truly a joint effort with the
modeling firms and reflects the critical commentary and evaluations from key
individuals in insurance and reinsurance companies as well as financial
institutions who provided funds for the research activities.
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