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GEM and Aon to Collaborate on the Development of a New Earthquake Model for Canada


Mar 6, 2019

GEM and Aon’s Impact Forecasting catastrophe model development team have signed a partnership agreement to develop a new earthquake model for Canada based on global collaborative science and the latest publicly available data and information from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). The new model is expected to be available towards the end of 2019.


The partnership will help gain deeper understanding of earthquake risk in Canada. The new model will allow insurance underwriters to more accurate pricing of their insurance products as well as effectively manage their portfolios. Consumers will also benefit because the model is based on openly available data and assumptions that are fully transparent to everyone.


The model will be implemented in Impact Forecasting’s risk modeling platform – ELEMENTS – as well as Oasis-based platforms. Impact Forecasting will support the use of the model in the Canadian market, which includes deployment, training and ongoing support.


“GEM and Aon both value the importance of transparent and open hazard and risk modeling. We believe that this approach is key to better technical understanding of risk, and directly supports GEM’s initiative to promote the sharing of high quality open risk information globally,” said John Schneider, GEM Secretary General.


“We have chosen to partner with GEM because of its global reputation for open and high-quality science and engineering-based risk modelling, combined with their close collaboration with Natural Resources Canada. In addition we are excited to bring enhanced understanding of this earthquake risk to the insurance industry with a goal of ultimately increasing resilience across Canada,” added Adam Podlaha, Head of Aon’s Impact Forecasting team.


The model is being developed in phases starting with earthquake shaking including liquefaction, tsunami and other secondary perils. Tsunami modeling will be implemented in collaboration with University College London (UCL).


The proposed modeling solution from Impact Forecasting will be based on GEM’s earthquake risk model for Canada, developed in collaboration with NRCan, which officially joined GEM as a public sponsor last year. NRCan leads a consortium of Canadian organizations including Public Safety Canada, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Defence Research and Development Canada, as well as academic and planning professionals.


Phil Hill, Director, Geological Survey of Canada-Pacific (NRCan), and GEM Governing Board member for Canada, commented, “The GEM-IF Canada earthquake risk model is an important step in making credible and open disaster risk information available and accessible in Canada.”

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