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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-41
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2019-41
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Mar 2019

Research article | 27 Mar 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Design of parametric risk transfer solutions for volcanic eruptions: an application to Japanese volcanoes

Delioma Oramas-Dorta1, Giulio Tirabassi1, Guillermo E. Franco1, and Christina Magill2 Delioma Oramas-Dorta et al.
  • 1Guy Carpenter & Co, LLC. Tower Place West, London, EC3 5BU, United Kingdom
  • 2Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, NSW 2109, Australia

Abstract. Volcanic eruptions are rare but potentially catastrophic phenomena, affecting societies and economies through different pathways. The 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption in Iceland, a medium-sized ash fall producing eruption, caused losses in the range of billions of dollars, mainly to the aviation and tourist industries. Financial risk transfer mechanisms such as insurance are used by individuals, companies, Governments, etc. to protect themselves from losses associated to natural catastrophes. In this work, we conceptualize and design a parametric risk transfer mechanism to offset losses to building structures arising from large, ash fall-producing volcanic eruptions. Such transfer mechanism relies on the objective measurement of physical characteristics of volcanic eruptions that are correlated with the size of resulting losses (in this case, height of the eruptive column and predominant direction of ash dispersal), in order to pre-determine payments to the risk cedant concerned. We apply this risk transfer mechanism to the case of Mount Fuji in Japan, by considering a potential risk cedant such as a regional Government interested in offsetting losses to dwellings in the heavily populated Prefectures of Tokyo and Kanagawa. The simplicity in determining eruptive column height and ash fall dispersal direction makes this design suitable for extrapolation to other volcanic settings world-wide where significant ash fall producing eruptions may occur, provided these parameters are reported by an official, reputable agency, and a suitable loss model is available for the volcanoes of interest.

Delioma Oramas-Dorta et al.
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Delioma Oramas-Dorta et al.
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