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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries
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Research from Swiss Re

Last month saw a series of research reports from Swiss Re which are potentially of interest to readers. These include:

sigma 4/2003 Insurance company ratings;

sigma 5/2003 Reinsurance – a systemic risk?; and

Focus Report on the environmental and economic issues in construction of large dams.

Swiss Re also announced its sponsorship of a new scientific study, to be conducted by a joint team of US and Japanese scientists. The study aims for an improved understanding of the probability of earthquake occurrence in the Greater Tokyo area.

The research team will apply detailed stress-transfer modelling for the first time in Japan to derive a probability assessment. Apart from its scientific focus, the results will also be beneficial for the insurance industry worldwide in its hazard-assessment efforts. The study will also complement the comprehensive, government-sponsored seismic hazard map of Japan currently in development.

The study will be led by Ross Stein of the US Geological Survey (USGS) and Shinji Toda of the Active Fault Research Center (part of the former Geological Survey of Japan).