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Aon Benfield sponsors updated Atlas of Natural Disaster Risk in China


BEIJING – Aon Benfield, the global reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor of Aon Corporation (NYSE:AON), is the exclusive insurance industry sponsor of the third edition of the Atlas of Natural Disaster Risk in China, a Chinese government* research project that for the first time looks at how hazard, vulnerability and exposure integrate to help implement more effective prevention measures. Beijing Normal University, a partner of Aon Benfield Research’s academic collaboration, has led the collective work by key research institutes in China.

Over the past 20 years, the annual economic loss from Chinese natural hazards has reached nearly 200 billion RMB. Most recently, major events have included snow storm and the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, the drought in north, northeast and southwest China in 2009, and the 2010 Yushu earthquake.

The Atlas pools almost a decade of research to deliver some 400 maps. It comprises all major natural perils including earthquake, flood, drought, landslide, storms, snow, hail, frost, forest fire and grassland fire. Presented on a national and local basis, the Atlas also includes maps showing topography, climate, vegetation zones and land use.

The key benefits of the updated Atlas include:
1. The most recent and high-resolution data which has never been made public
2. Loss estimates combining vulnerability and exposure, in addition to hazard – which is a better reflection of the impact of natural hazards on the economic development of China.
3. Greater focus on agriculture-related risks to reflect the central government’s investment in agriculture insurance.

Dominic Christian, co-CEO of Aon Benfield, said: “The Atlas of Natural Disaster Risk in China is an important resource for both domestic and global re/insurers that are intending to play a meaningful role in China, and I hope readers will be as impressed as I am by the sophisticated research and detailed data available in China on natural disaster risks. We are incredibly proud to sponsor the Atlas.”

Helen Ye, Executive Director and Head of Catastrophe Reinsurance Production of Aon Benfield Asia, commented: “The pace of catastrophe model development in China has been very encouraging but all Chinese models still require better calibration to reflect local construction practices and loss experience. In addition, due to limited loss data and a fast changing risk landscape, a consensus on the risk outlook is yet to be achieved. The Atlas is the first step in tackling some of these challenges. By leveraging the data and research presented in this Atlas, we will be able to develop optimum solutions for our clients.”

Professor Peijun Shi, Executive Vice President of Beijing Normal University and Chief Editor of the Atlas added: “The previous atlas focused on spatial and temporal distribution of hazards and their impact based on historical records. The new atlas moves one step forward to include vulnerability and exposure. For example, the snow storm section looks at the impact on livestock, airports and their importance to the social-economic system. The Atlas provides a scientific basis for the Chinese government and businesses to develop disaster risk measures, using state-of-art risk mapping in natural disasters, ecological safety and global change in China.”

For information on obtaining the map, please contact Helen Ye at


* Funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Civil Affairs and Natural Science Foundation of China.
PICTURED: map showing annual expected loss of earthquake per capita in China


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