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Record storms redefined cat models; experts say


BADEN BADEN, Germany—The catastrophic weather events of 2004 and 2005, most notably Hurricane Katrina have drastically altered the way catastrophes are modelled, according to speakers at a symposium held in Baden Baden and sponsored by XL Re Europe Ltd.

"The future ain't what it used to be," said Yörn Tatge, Munich-based managing director AIR Worldwide GmbH. The events of 2004 and 2005 caused insurers and reinsurers to question models and changed their perception of risks, he notes.

Those record hurricane losses, "really redefined catastrophe modelling" said Robert Muir-wood, London based chief research officer at Risk Management Solutions Inc.

The "new generation" of catastrophe models look more closely at factors such as human behaviour and the way claims are made, he said.

Changes in the earth climate are likely to be "very profound" said David Stephenson, a professor in statistical climatology at the University of Reading, England. Greater cooperation is needed between the climate change scientific community, catastrophe modelling and insurance and reinsurance communities he said."