LONDON, 9 December 2022 - Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm, today announced that it has joined the Global Earthquake Model (GEM) Foundation – a non-profit public-private partnership that develops and distributes models and data for a transparent assessment of earthquake risk worldwide - as Governor Sponsor.
Comprising public, private, academic and non-government organizations, GEM delivers state-of-the-art earthquake risk reduction solutions through relevant data, tools and information as well as hazard and risk assessments that are designed to improve understanding of earthquake hazard and risk globally.
Economic losses from catastrophic events are projected to increase exponentially by 2030 due to increasing global population, rapid urbanisation and extreme weather events. Earthquakes, which made up only 8 percent of all disasters in the past 20 years, are the deadliest of all sudden disaster events. The peril constitutes one of the top causes of economic disruption and of disaster deaths, due to building collapse.
In its new role as Governor Sponsor, Aon and its Impact Forecasting catastrophe model development team will lead the firm’s collaboration with GEM scientific teams in developing advanced tools to analyze the financial impacts of earthquakes for effective reinsurance, underwriting and exposure management strategies. Furthermore, Aon will work with GEM to bring together a range of collaborations to enhance earthquake risk understanding globally, further drive the usage and adoption of earthquake models and expand the domain of potential scientific collaborators to assist and inform model development. The collaboration will assist Aon’s clients and the wider re/insurance industry and stakeholders to make better risk decisions while navigating volatility and building operational resilience.
In addition, GEM’s own earthquake modelling platform, the OpenQuake Engine, provides an opportunity for the development of standardized approaches in seismic hazard analyses, and to share the same technology within the rapidly growing society of users from across the re/insurance industry.
John Schneider, GEM secretary general, said: “We welcome Aon to the GEM Governing Board as a voting member. GEM and Aon, through its Impact Forecasting team, have been collaborating for several years now on the development of earthquake loss models, and Aon’s new three-year sponsorship of GEM will allow us to work together across a broader range of topics and to share high-quality open risk information for improving risk reduction strategies worldwide.”
Adam Podlaha, head of Impact Forecasting at Aon, said: “We are excited to continue our close collaboration in developing new Impact Forecasting earthquake models, as well as enabling users to access GEM-developed models in our ELEMENTS platform. Our recently released Canada Earthquake model shows the collaborative power of our community – combining the sixth-generation seismic hazard model for Canada implemented by Natural Resources Canada natively in GEM’s OpenQuake platform, with Impact Forecasting enhancements for secondary perils, including liquefaction landslides, tsunami and fire.”
GEM’s collaborative efforts have been an important contributor to Impact Forecasting’s own earthquake model development, helping the firm to assist clients in their understanding and analysis of the peril and navigate associated volatility. The GEM collaboration has helped the team improve its model development processes, strengthening the local and global credibility of Impact Forecasting models and increasing the domain of potential scientific collaborators for client-based projects.
For more information about Aon’s Impact Forecasting models, visit https://www.aon.com/reinsurance/impact-forecasting/default
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