AIR Launches Catastrophe Risk Engineering Services

April 20, 2004

AIR Worldwide Corporation announced the launch of Catastrophe Risk Engineering, described as “a new consultative service that analyzes high value or strategically significant properties to estimate potential human, financial and property losses in the event of a catastrophe.”

AIR said the new service will analyze “the risk from terrorism, earthquakes and severe windstorms to help corporations and insurers develop strategies to minimize the impact of extreme events on mission critical structures.”

“Catastrophe Risk Engineering provides much more than a run-of-the-mill probable maximum loss or engineering analysis. It entails a detailed, scientific and engineering analysis that couples the likelihood of extreme events impacting specific structures with an in-depth evaluation of the consequences,” noted S. Ming Lee, AIR Worldwide senior VP. “Catastrophe Risk Engineering helps clients make informed decisions about their most valuable or critical properties.”

Results from a Catastrophe Risk Engineering analysis can be used to evaluate and potentially lower the cost of property and workers’ compensation insurance by identifying appropriate loss-mitigation measures. In addition, results can be used to perform cost/benefit analyses of proposed retrofit measures, assess potential business interruption losses and evaluate the life-safety qualities of structures.

AIR has designed the system to serve risk managers, insurers and property owners. It takes a multi-pronged approach, combining site surveys, risk modeling and engineering analysis to assess the risks, and covers the following “extreme events:

Terrorism – In partnership with Michael Stapleton Associates, an on-site security analysis is conducted to identify existing counter-terrorism measures and recommend additional security measures at the property. The results are analyzed using AIR’s Terrorism Loss Estimation Model to determine the impact of existing and proposed security measures on potential property and casualty losses from a terrorist act on or near the structure.

Earthquake – AIR engineers perform an on-site structure inspection and a thorough review of blueprints to understand the true nature of the structure’s vulnerability to ground motion. After a three-dimensional computer analysis, reliable estimates of potential losses are made based on how the structure will respond to seismic waves of different intensity.

Severe wind – Using advanced engineering principles, AIR conducts a detailed analysis to determine a building’s response to severe winds. The analysis considers all aspects of the wind hazard affecting the building, as well as individual building characteristics, such as the construction type, roof covering, cladding, and window protection.

“AIR’s Catastrophe Risk Engineering provides tangible results that can be immediately applied to risk professionals’ most pressing decisions regarding extreme events,” Lee continued. “By employing advanced decision analysis techniques that enable clients to choose rationally among risk management alternatives, Catastrophe Risk Engineering positively impacts a corporations bottom line and long-term viability.”

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