News Coverage - Japan Tohoku Earthquake Disaster

A.M. BestDay graphic

EQECAT received extensive media coverage following the Japan Tohoku Offshore Earthquake of March 11, 2011 and the related tsunami and nuclear events. EQECAT provided economic and insured loss estimates and conducted interviews with multiple news agencies and media outlets. Select news coverage and mentions are listed below.

Video & Audio Coverage

June 22, 2011
BestDay Audio on A.M. Best Media
EQECAT's Tom Larsen on Japan Earthquake Coverage Complications

EQECAT, Inc. Senior Vice President of Product Architect Tom Larsen, talks about the complications of Japan's earthquake in loss estimation and complications of Japan's earthquake in loss estimation and coverage.

Highlights of the interview include:

  • Uncertainties in final settlement of losses
  • Loss of nuclear power
  • What aftershocks mean to insurance policies
  • How Infrastructure was affected
  • Effects of liquefaction on damage estimation

Download the interview via iTunes: BestDay Insurance News from A.M. Best on iTunes.

Tom Larsen Discusses Japan Tohoku Earthquake on Bloomberg News

March 16, 2011
Bloomberg News
EQECAT's Larsen Discusses Insurance Losses From Quake

Tom Larsen, a Senior Vice President at EQECAT, Inc., talks about the outlook for insurance losses from Japan's earthquake. He speaks from San Francisco with Andrea Catherwood on Bloomberg Television's "Last Word."

Video: Comtex News Network Reports on EQECAT's Insured Loss Estimates

March 16, 2011
Comtex News Network / Trade The Trend
Japan Insurance Losses Estimated to be $12-25 bln

Financial News Network reporting on destruction in Japan's earthquake, reporting on EQECAT's insured loss estimates on earthquake and tsunami losses, including AIR Worldwide estimates and reporting on the insurance industry.

Bill Keogh Discusses Assessing Damage from Japan Tohoku Earthquake on Bloomberg News

March 14, 2011
Bloomberg News
Keogh Says It Will Take Months to Assess Quake Damage 

William Keogh, President of EQECAT, Inc., talks about the impact of the Japan earthquake on the insurance industry. Japan was struck by its strongest earthquake on record, an 8.9-magnitude temblor that shook buildings across Tokyo and unleashed a seven-meter-high tsunami that engulfed towns on the northern coast, killing thousands.

Interviews & Mentions

May 10, 2011
Property Casualty 360
EQECAT Increases Japan Insured Loss Estimate: Now Up to $39B

Catastrophic risk modeler EQECAT has dramatically changed its estimate of insured losses from the Tohoku, Japan earthquake to between $22 billion and $39 billion.

May 9, 2011
EQECAT says Japan quake losses now up to $39 billion

Catastrophe modeling company EQECAT sharply increased on Monday, its estimate of insured losses from the March 11 earthquake in Japan saying they might now reach as high as $39 billion. EQECAT's initial estimate had been $12 billion to $25 billion, but the new forecast says losses were more likely in a range of $22 billion to $39 billion.

May 5, 2011
Japan disaster hits Swiss Re, Zurich Q1 profit

The disaster in Japan, where a huge earthquake and tsunami hit in March, is one of the costliest in the history of global insurers, having caused insured losses of $12 billion to $25 billion, according to risk modeling firm EQECAT.

May 5, 2011
Zurich Fin Q1 profit falls on catastrophe payouts

The disaster in Japan is one of the costliest natural catastrophes in the history of global insurers, having caused insured losses of $12 billion to $25 billion, according to risk modeling firm EQECAT.

April 21, 2011
FACTBOX-Insurance impact of Japanese earthquake

Some of the world's leading insurers and reinsurers have issued initial estimates of how much the earthquake that hit Japan on March 11 will cost them, and more are expected do so over the next few weeks.

Risk modeling agency RMS has estimated the total insured loss at between $21 billion and $34 billion, while rivals EQECAT and AIR Worldwide are expecting losses of $12 billion to $25 billion and $20 billion to $30 billion, respectively.

April 13, 2011
Insurance Networking News
Japan Claims May Rival Katrina's
Risk modeling companies issue new predictions for insurer losses from Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Last month, RMS competitor AIR Worldwide reported that the Japan quake and tsunami could cost insurers approximately $20 billion to $30 billion, an estimate that did not include life insurance claims. EQECAT also issued estimates, predicting insured losses at $12 billion to $25 billion, which included up to $3 billion in life-insurance costs.

April 11, 2011
Property Casualty 360
Cat Modelers Reassess Quake, Tsunami Risks After Japan Event 

The Tohoku earthquake in Japan was a seismological "black swan" - an event beyond the realm of regular expectations, according to catastrophe-risk modelers.

Bill Keogh, president of risk-modeler EQECAT, Inc. (which estimates between $12 billion and $25 billion in insured losses from the quake and tsunami), says an event like this provides the chance to either validate current models or calibrate them. The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake is clearly a chance to recalibrate, he says.

April 5, 2011
Special Report: Japan quake reveals cracks in insurance system

"You have greater competence in the response for hurricanes because you have a much greater frequency," said Tom Larsen, the product architect for EQECAT, another of the major risk modeling companies.

"The earthquakes, now the preparations may be as extensive, but we're not seeing as frequent tests. There's a lot more uncertainty on (the question of) is everything going to work as its supposed to."

April 1, 2011
Property Casualty 360
Cat Modelers Reassess Quake, Tsunami Risks After Japan

Bill Keogh, president of risk modeler EQECAT, Inc. (which estimates between $12 billion and $25 billion in insured losses from the quake and tsunami) says an event provides the chance to either validate current models or calibrate them. The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake is clearly a chance to recalibrate, he says.

There is a 4.6 percent chance of a 9.0 occurring anywhere in the world annually. To put that into perspective, there is almost a 100 percent chance of a magnitude 8.0 earthquake happening at least once a year, according to Paul Thenhaus, senior geologist with EQECAT.

March 30, 2011
FACTBOX - Insurance impact of Japanese earthquake

Risk modeling agency EQECAT has estimated that the total insured loss would be between $12 billion and $25 billion, while rival AIR Worldwide reckons the industry could face a bill of between $20 billion and $30 billion.

March 25, 2011
Japan Loss Forecasts Narrow, Insurance Rates Rising

AIR competitor EQECAT has estimated all-in losses at $12 billion to $25 billion, while the industry's third player, RMS, has not released a figure.

March 23, 2011
Reinsurer Leans on Catastrophe Bond

EQECAT, a catastrophe-modeling firm, recently estimated that insured losses from the disaster may be $12 billion to $25 billion. That would mean Platinum's share would be $62.5 million to $100 million.

March 23, 2011
The Japan Times
¥1 trillion insurance cost seen

EQECAT, Inc., a risk assessment agency based in the U.S., projected that upcoming insurance payments at between ¥650 billion and ¥1.2 trillion

March 22, 2011
Claims Advisor
Elemental Problems in Japan

Article written by Tom Larsen
"The four classical elements - air, earth, fire and water - are all embroiled in the nasty aftermath of the disaster in Japan. But there's nothing elemental about the upcoming claims." Mr. Larsen explains how deconstructing the earthquake and tsunami into separate, manageable parts and taking advantage of resources such as shaking maps and catastrophe model output will help build solid, rational expectations.

March 21, 2011
Property Casualty 360
Japan Rocked By 9.0 Quake; Will It Change The Market?

EQECAT said it believes $2-$4 billion of insured losses will be ceded to the JER (Japan Earthquake Reinsurance Company).

March 18, 2011
Business Insider
Why The Japanese Disaster's $25 Billion Threat To Reinsurers Is Overblown

...the catastrophe modelling firm EQECAT has published a substantially lower loss estimate of $12-25bn including 'earthquake shaking, ensuing tsunami and fires, losses to Automobiles, Marine, Life, and Personal Accident insurance lines.

March 17, 2011
Market Watch
Japan disaster raises fear of megaquake cluster

"Chile, New Zealand, and now we have seen this," said Tom Larsen, product architect and senior vice president at catastrophe-modeling firm EQECAT. The general consensus is that this is strictly a coincidence, but there are people who believe there are clusters of these events" he added. "A lot of people are investigating these clusters. They have happened in the past."

March 16, 2011
Claims Journal
EQECAT Analyzes Specific Exposures from Japan Quake/Tsunami

Article summarizes EQECAT's Tohoku Offshore Earthquake post-event report and findings for the insurance and re/insurance industry. "Catastrophe modeling firm EQECAT has issued a bulletin describing the potential insured market losses and summarizing the various impacts of Japan's insurance market with its specific inclusions and exclusions."

March 15, 2011
International Business Times
Japan earthquake could turn out as the most expensive natural disaster in history

Disaster modeling firm EQECAT has projected that total losses from the disaster could reach a high of $100 billion, which mainly comprises of infrastructure and community losses

March 14, 2011
Risk Market News
Modelers Face Japanese Quake Challenges

Interview of Tom Larsen, in which Larsen explains hurdle in putting together loss estimates given the loss of Kyoshin Net (K-NET stations), the system run by the Japanese Meteorological Agency to measure earthquake ground motion in the affected region.

March 14, 2011

Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami by the Numbers

$100 billion: Minimum estimate of losses of the quake, tsunami and fires, including $20 billion in damage to residences and $40 billion in damage to infrastructure such as roads, rail and port facilities, according to catastrophe modeling firm EQECAT.

March 14, 2011
Will Japan's quake be the costliest ever?

"...modeling firm, EQECAT, estimates total losses to homes, factories, infrastructure and other property caused by the quake and tsunami could exceed $100 billion."

March 14, 2011
Market Watch
EQECAT Pegs Japan Economic Loss at $100bln

Insurance advisor EQECAT said Monday that economic losses from Japan's disaster are likely to exceed $100 billion. "Economic losses will continue to rise as significant earthquake-related events develop," EQECAT said in a report, adding that "serious concerns grow as officials struggle to control damage at three nuclear power plants."

March 14, 2011
Market Watch
Moody's Warns of Heavy Insurance Losses

Total economic losses from Friday's quake - and the tsunami, fires and other mayhem that followed - will likely exceed $100 billion, according to EQECAT, a catastrophe modeling firm.

March 14, 2011
The Guardian
Japan's Earthquake 'the Costliest of Recent Times'

Aftermath recap: "The Japanese earthquake and tsunami, 2011 thought to have caused at least $100bn-worth of damage, making it the costliest disaster in recent history, according to "catastrophe modelling" firm EQECAT.

March 14, 2011
Disaster Insurance to Cost More

Catastrophe analysts EQECAT predict the cost of the earthquake, tsunami and fires will reach at east $US100 billion, including $US20 billion in damage to homes and $US40 billion to infrastructure.

March 14, 2011
The Insurance Insider
EQECAT predicts Japan industry loss of $12bn-$25bn

Modelling firm EQECAT estimates that the insured loss from the Japanese earthquake will be between $12bn and $25bn, which is significantly under AIR Worldwide's forecast of a $15bn to $35bn industry loss.

March 14, 2011
The Daily Mail
A £60bn blow to the world economy as Japanese markets plunge 6.18% 

EQECAT, a risk consultancy, estimated that the total economic losses - insurance costs as well as lost productivity - would add up to more than £62billion.

March 13, 2011
Insurance industry likely spared Japan nuclear threat

"The scrambling of the reactor is a huge event that's really difficult to model," EQECAT senior vice president Tom Larsen said in an interview. He said any impact was more likely to be felt by life insurers than property insurers.

March 13, 2011
CNN Money
Japanese earthquake could be most expensive ever

Losses from the quake, tsunami and fires will total at least $100 billion, including $20 billion in damage to residences and $40 billion in damage to infrastructure such as roads, rail and port facilities, catastrophe modeling firm EQECAT estimated.

March 12, 2011
Odd nature of Japan quake complicates insurance

EQECAT, another risk modeler, said the earthquake was at least eight times stronger than any it had modeled in that particular part of Japan for the next 30 years. Air Worldwide, EQECAT and RMS are the three major risk-modeling firms that help insurance companies predict where and how they will suffer losses and how severe they will be.

March 11, 2011
Wall Street Journal
Japan Quake Affects $1.5 Bln of 'Catastrophe Bonds' (PDF 16 K)

"This earthquake is a concern to the cat bond market because of the high ground motions and damage extending to Tokyo," said Tom Larsen, product architect at risk modeller EQECAT, Inc. "Some deals are all formulaic and meant to protect against a severe hit in one area, which this was not. Others are meant to cover a less-severe hit in a broader area, and that is what we have today."

March 11, 2011
Coal Geology
List of Experts who could discuss 8.9 Japan Earthquake, Tsunami

Tom Larsen, product architect at catastrophe risk modeling firm EQECAT, Inc., can discuss the extent of the damage/economic losses and the impact on the insurance industry as this unfolds. EQECAT will be issuing an insured loss estimate based on the damage from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan.

March 11, 2011
How is Japan prepared for catastrophe (PDF Translated to English - 350 KB)

Original coverage in Spanish. Article covers EQECAT's analysis about the damage on the economy.

Non-English News Coverage

Below are a few news articles referencing EQECAT's insights relating to the Japan Tohoku Earthquake. (Each article is in the country's native language.)

March 14, 2011
Les Echos (French News)
Japanese Disaster Will Fall as One of the Most Expensive for the Insurance World

March 14, 2011
China Times (Chinese News)
Million in the Fall of the Nikkei Plunged 634 Points, $306B USD Market Value Evaporated

March 14, 2011
Newsland (Russian News)
Earthquake in Japan: Insurance Companies are Paralyzed

March 14, 2011
(Swedish News)
Katrina More Expensive

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