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19 Jun 2017

Webinar: Natural Catastrophe Modelling

Modelling natural catastrophes by means of stochastic simulation started in the late 1980s and has become increasingly common since. The degree of details – be it the geographic resolution, the exposure data or the event modelling – has led to an enormous amount of data which suggests that modelling should have improved over time. Nevertheless there is still considerable uncertainty in case of major events which has been demonstrated by nearly every major event in the past two decades.

As early as 1994 – immediately after the Northridge earthquake – Eberhard Müller published some general remarks on the usability of natural catastrophe simulation models and their limitations and tried to forecast some future developments. Now, more than 20 years later, he compares his predictions with the most recent developments.

He brings with him the latest news from the annual RAA´s (Reinsurance Association of America) Natural Catastrophe Modelling Conference in Orlando, including a comparison of vendor model results for selected “as-if” US events.

His conclusion – as 20 years ago – is, that there is nothing better available than “state of the art” natural catastrophe simulation models for determining exposures by return periods and net risk premiums (expected value of losses) as well as volatility measures from full probability distribution, often in the form of “non-exceedance curves”. But that does not mean that you simply “feed a model and get the truth”.

Everybody active in this field has substantial “room for decisions” whom to trust and how own assessments – deviating from vendor models - could be figured in.

This matters even more when model results are used for Solvency II purposes e.g. within internal models. Finally it must be concluded that there is no “absolute truth” but only a “transparent process” in which results – including own assessments – are regularly checked whether they are still trustworthy or whether process adjustments are advisable.

Organised by the EAA - European Actuarial Academy GmbH.


While the webinar is open to all interested persons and participants need not to have any prior knowledge in the discussed field it is of special interest for actuaries and risk managers active in assessing the impact of natural catastrophes for insurers, be it on the exposure side for accumulation control and reinsurance purchase purposes, be it on the pricing side or be it for determining the contribution to capital requirements.

Technical requirements and test session
Please check with your IT department if your firewall and computer settings support webinar participations (the programme GoToTraining is used for the webinar). Please also make sure that you are joining the webinar with a stable internet connection. 

On 13 June 11:00 – 11:30 CEST there will be a test session offered to all registered participants to test the software. Participation is voluntary but recommended.

Purpose and Nature

The aim of this webinar is to provide some insights into the makeup of natural catastrophe simulation models, demonstrate their usability but also encourage users to contribute their own experience, knowledge and judgements to the final assessment process.

For the avoidance of doubts, the webinar is not dedicated to show how to develop a natural catastrophe simulation model and will not go into the mathematical details underlying those models.


The language of the webinar will be English.


Eberhard Müller
Eberhard Müller is founder and managing director of riskmueller consulting GmbH. Before this he worked nearly 34 years for Hannover Re, since 2006 as Chief Risk Officer, until his retirement in 2016.
During the establishment of Solvency II he was very actively involved in numerous national and international committees and working parties and contributed with many publications and presentations to the discussion.
In addition to his longstanding active membership in various committees / working groups of the German Actuarial Association “Deutsche Aktuarvereinigung” (DAV) he contributes since 2010 to module A of the CERA education. From 2015 he is member of the  ERM committee where he leads the working subgroup for operational risks. For the International Actuarial Association (IAA) he serves as member of the Reinsurance Subcommittee of the Insurance Regulation Committee and was elected as member of the ASTIN Committee from 2015 to 2019.

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