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Catastrophe risk and insurance

We help clients reduce the risk of events such as flood, earthquake and extreme weather.


Over 30 years, economic damage from natural disasters has averaged at 0.2% of global gross domestic product. For an organisation, the operational impact can be devastating. The regularity and severity of these events is expected to increase. All levels of the insurance chain – from buyers to brokers, lenders to insurers and reinsurers – benefit from the application of civil and structural engineering expertise.

Detailed insight

Losses incurred by catastrophes are often driven higher by unforeseen details. Applying an engineer’s detailed perspective to portfolio probable maximum loss (PML) estimates brings greater accuracy than traditional desktop modelling.

With the Intercontinental Hotels Group, we identified which of their 140 properties were driving up risk levels across their wider portfolio. Our experts then used detailed site assessments to improve risk modelling for each of the 10 properties identified, and therefore the portfolio as a whole. This allowed them to significantly, but safely, reduce their insurance bill.

Working with clients and insurance brokers, we help ensure that property submissions best reflect the actual portfolio risk: through improved data, enhanced modelling, and representation in underwriter meetings.

Risk reduction

Through our bottom-up approach to property analysis and assessment we pinpoint a package of enhancements – from retrofit to new building construction - to dramatically reduce risk. Drawing together Arup’s proven expertise across earthquake engineeringrisk assessment and building design, combined with our financial know-how, we help our clients navigate the costs and benefits associated with different options.

Our work with a global manufacturer not only reduced their earthquake insurance needs, but improved resilience. Our recommendations significantly increased their market share following a major earthquake.

Post-loss support

Post-disaster, timely support in assessing damage and prioritising repairs can significantly reduce loss. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, our global skills network allows Arup to respond rapidly. With renowned experts in post-disaster reconstruction, we have worked worldwide to deliver post-damage assessment, claims support, and post-loss mitigation.

Partnering with Aon to deliver their Rapid Response service, Arup’s engineering specialists have brought immediate support to clients in the aftermath of global events.

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Global contact

  • Andy Thompson
  • Global leader, Catastrophe risk and insurance

Explore our work


InterContinental Hotels. Beach scene, image credit InterContinental Hotels Group.

Project: InterContinental Hotels Group

Assessing the risk to hotels from earthquakes, floods and windstorms.

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Post-tsunami housing in Aceh.

Project: Aceh post-tsunami reconstruction

Arup specialists working with humanitarian organisations.

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Project: Insuring against catastrophic risk – Japanese manufacturing

An on-site assessment of two manufacturing facilities.

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