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Other Perils

Insurance and disaster risk reduction agencies face growing losses from perils which derive from combinations of primary hydro-meteorological and geo-hazards. The multi-disciplinary nature of these risks renders the Network well suited to address them and integrate into modelling platforms and decision support tools.

Tsunami. The events of 2003 and 2011 transformed perceptions of tsunami risk, a peril which had not received detailed assessment by the insurance sector. The WRN tsunami risk programme, incorporating a global team of institutions, is unique in combining a global and regional inundation mapping programme with groundbreaking research on tsunami vulnerability functions for buildings and assets.


WRN members have undertaken localised volcanic risk modelling for many years but the widespread impacts of the Icelandic ash cloud event in 2010 on air travel throughout Northwest Europe raised the priority of understanding the scope, scale and likelihood of major events across the world. WRN members are collaborating on major research projects to integrate volcanic risk into mainstream insurance and disaster risk management systems.


A hybrid peril based on climate and geology, subsidence risk presents major challenges of accumulation as and many properties enter high risk conditions simultaneously. Climate change impacts present particular concerns and uncertainties on future levels subsidence. The WRN is undertaking regional programmes to develop robust subsidence methodologies to form the basis of global risk indices and models.


Another hybrid peril based on climate, vegetation and land-use wildfire risk is acutely affected by critical thresholds in temperature and precipitation. The WRN is undertaking regional programmes to develop wildfire risk methodologies, methods and tools to inform risk management and forecasting systems.


Perhaps the ultimate hybrid peril, dirven by geological, climatic and often seismic influences landslide presents concerns in selected urban and high risk locations, transportation arteries and river/dam systems. The correlation of landslide losses with major rainfall and earthquake events amplifies and impact of these primary perils. WRN landslide research incorporates landslide mechanics, localised risk assessment and global scale mapping and risk analysis.

Latest on Other Perils

  • How can structural engineers contribute towards disaster mitigation?

    Date: Jun 11, 2013 | Type: Article | Journal: The Structural Engineer | Ext. Link: Click Here ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Other Perils

    Authors: Joshua Macabuag
    Fields: Tsunami

    Summary: Man-made and natural disasters seriously disrupt a society, involve widespread losses and require external assistance to recover. The Japan Tsunami of 2011 claimed over 18,500 lives, is estimated to have cost over $500bn (~20% of UK GDP in 2011) and effected the global economy.

    Read More about this publication ›

    A first analysis of the potential landslide distribution from the Iran earthquake

    Date: Apr 18, 2013 | Type: Article | Ext. Link: Click Here ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Other Perils

    Authors: Rob Parker and Dave Petley
    Fields: Landslide

    Summary: The Mw = 7.8 earthquake in early April in Iran was the largest event in that country for about 50 years. Fortunately, the depth of the earthquake (82 km) and the low population density in the affected areas meant that loss of life was low for an event of this size

    Read More about this publication ›

    WRN release latest research bulletin on insurance risk from volcanic eruptions in Europe

    Date: Oct 19, 2009 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Other Perils

    Authors: Robin Spence
    Fields: General

    Summary: This paper, authored by Prof Robin Spence of Cambridge Architectural Research Limited, Prof Giulio Zuccaro, Scientific Director, Plinius Centre, University of Naples Federico II and Dr Rashmin Gunasekera, of Willis Analytics, provides a detailed review of risk from Vesuvius and proposes a new risk ranking of European volcanoes, with a focus on insurance risk potential.

    A Review of Demand Surge Knowledge and Modelling Practice

    Date: Nov 09, 2008 | Type: Paper | Attachment: Download File ›

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Other Perils

    Authors: Anna Olsen and Keith Porter.
    Fields: Exposure & Vulnerability

    Summary: This state-of-the-art review summarises the research into demand surge thus far and summarises plans for a future quantitive model

    Tourists and disasters: lessons from the 26 December 2004 tsunamis

    Date: Oct 08, 2008 | Type: Paper |

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Other Perils

    Authors: Keiko Saito and Robin Spence. Ilan Kelman, Jason Palmer, Marla Petal
    Fields: Seismic

    Summary: The 26 December 2004 tsunamis around the Indian Ocean exposed the vulnerability of many coastal communities, including those serving tourists. To draw conclusions regarding disaster risk reduction for tourism in coastal areas, this study surveyed international tourists who survived the tsunami regarding their perceptions and experiences of the disaster.

    Predicting the next major risks

    Date: Nov 08, 2007 | Type: Presentation |

    Pillar: Natural Hazard & Risk
    Hub: Other Perils

    Authors: Matthew Foote, Research Director, Willis Research Network
    Fields: Emerging Risk

    Summary: A presentation given to IEA Future of General Insurance delegates surrounding risk understanding

About WRN

As economic, social and environmental uncertainties increase, institutions and populations seek greater resilience to support sustainable growth. Science and insurance lay at the heart of understanding, managing and sharing these risks, building more secure futures at local and global scales.

The Willis Research Network (WRN) operates across the full spectrum of risk from natural catastrophe, to legal liability, financial and security issues linked across driving themes: Resilience, Security & Sustainable Growth; Managing Extremes; Insurance & Risk Management and Mastering the Modelled World.

All Members and activities are united by a common aim: improving resilience by integrating first class science into operational and financial decision-making across public and private institutions.

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Fast Facts

  • The WRN was formed in September 2006 to support leading academic research into extreme events, with a specific focus on responding to the challenges faced by businesses, insurers and governments
  • The WRN's membership spans the globe, counting more than 50 world-class universities, scientific research organisations and public policy institutions
  • Collectively, our members have published more than 100 papers in leading scientific journals
  • Nearly all of the WRN's research is freely available to the public and can be downloaded on our website

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