The inaugural Catastrophe Risk Seminar was held at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney. It was a full-house, with over 180 delegates in attendance.

President Daniel Smith welcomed delegates and emphasised the need for the insurance industry to understand the impact of catastrophic events. He also spoke about the Institute’s participation in public policy initiatives focused on catastrophe risk and natural disaster mitigation.

Plenary 1 speakers Mark Leonard, Andy Pitman and Rick Thomas discussed catastrophic risks below, at and above ground level and the global thinking surrounding it. Mark explored seismic hazard in Australia, uncertainties and extreme events. Andy discussed climate change, climate variability and climate extremes. He spoke about heatwave observations and how these were now earlier, longer and more intense and were likely to double by 2030 and triple by 2070. Rick capped of the plenary with a session on modelling, forecasting and data capture. He discussed how global climate models are used in reinsurance to simulate the events that cause damage.

The next plenary featuring Ben Milauskas, Jeremy Waite and Michael Lonergan focused on how to quantify risk. Ben spoke about the fundamentals of modelling, including the four things to note about Cat Models and the features of a good Cat Model. Jeremy discussed the current models, changes in modelling and managing catastrophic risks. He pointed out that insurers want consistency, transparency and flexibility from Cat Models. The final speaker, Michael Lonergan, concluded the session with a presentation on catastrophe risk governance from a client’s perspective. Michael pointed out that Cat Models are key tools used to aid portfolio management, reinsurance and capital management and that post-experience organisations need to incorporate their learnings into direct pricing and Cat Modelling.

After lunch, the third plenary focused on reinsurance and risk mitigation. John Carroll spoke about the role of reinsurance, different approaches and key considerations, including the cost of reinsurance, selection of reinsurers, sustainability versus flexibility and long-term versus short-term objectives. Ty Birkett next talked about an investor’s perspective of reinsurance, disruptive innovations, the traditional reinsurance market, and impacts on the global market. The final plenary 3 speaker, Andrew Huszczo discussed the challenges for an Appointed Actuary, including requirements (in relation to FCR and ILVR) and actuarial practicalities.

The concluding plenary for the day was a panel discussion featuring Ian Laughlin, Nick Hawkins and David Hancock. Each speaker first spoke for 10 minutes, followed by 50 minutes of open discussion facilitated by Blair Nicholls.

Ian touched on risk management, risk appetite, risk governance, risk culture and capital management. Nick followed Ian’s presentation on IAG’s approach to managing against risk, governance structure, framework, capital and how they dealt with exposure. David then capped the presentation part of the discussion by taking a look at the practical side, including different perspectives, diverse risks and the broad spectrum of perils driving capital and reinsurance consideration. Delegates put their questions to the panel via SMS and from the floor, Blair Nicholls guided the ongoing discussion which was both informative and stimulating.

Thank you to our sponsors and supporting partners for their generous support of the inaugural Catastrophe Risk Seminar.

All presentations and audio are now available.

Thank you to the Organising Committee, facilitators, speakers, delegates and the Institute’s Events team for their valuable contribution to a successful Seminar.

Presentations and Audio Now Available

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President Daniel Smith

Delegates at the inaugural
Catastrophe Risk Seminar

Plenary 1
Plenary 1 – Rick Thomas,
Andy Pitman, Mark Leonard
and Will Gardner

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