For Immediate Release:

AIR Worldwide Releases Updated Earthquake Model for New Zealand

BOSTON, June 20, 2019 – Catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide (AIR) announced the release of its updated Earthquake Model for New Zealand. This model incorporates the latest scientific research after the 2010-2011 Canterbury earthquake sequence, the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, and earthquakes worldwide to provide the most current and comprehensive view of earthquake risk. Also captured are the effects from sub-perils, including ground shaking, liquefaction, landslide, tsunami, and fire following earthquakes. AIR Worldwide is a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) business.

“This model has been developed to meet the wide spectrum of earthquake risk management needs of the insurance industry and accounts for unique risks and policy conditions specific to New Zealand,” said Dr. Jayanta Guin, executive vice president and chief research officer, AIR Worldwide. “This includes the capability to use two seismicity models for the region. One is a time-independent model (TID) with no memory of past rupture history; the other is a time-dependent (TD) model that considers historical or prehistorical ruptures of specific faults.”

The improvements to the model provide the latest view of vulnerability for a variety of risk types, including the application of AIR’s enhanced intensity-based damage functions for modeling damage due to ground shaking, liquefaction, earthquake-induced landslide, fire following, and tsunami. AIR’s is the first model to cover transocean basin tsunami risk from distant earthquakes, such as those off the western coast of South America.

The vulnerability module has been substantially expanded to include support for additional risk types, such as large industrial facilities, infrastructure, marine cargo, and construction. This is also the first AIR earthquake model to support land damage, because land is covered under residential policies in New Zealand. This coverage includes the land under the dwelling or outbuildings (garages or sheds), the land necessary to support the dwelling or outbuildings, and the land of the main access way (driveway).

Local experts from academia and scientific research organizations peer-reviewed various aspects of the hazard component of the model to validate the latest seismic hazard concepts that were incorporated.

“New Zealand has a variety of faults and earthquake sources, which can produce different types of earthquakes,” said Dr. Andrew O’Donnell, senior engineer and model manager, AIR Worldwide. “These different earthquake types produce ground motion waves with different characteristics, so they often require their own unique ground motion models. The selected ground motion prediction equations (GMPEs) and their associated weights have been peer-reviewed by local seismologists to help ensure that AIR’s ground motion model incorporates the latest scientific research relevant to modeling ground motion attenuation in New Zealand and to confirm that the model agrees with the scientific consensus.”

Dr. O’Donnell, continued, “AIR’s engineering team gained valuable insights through engagements with local engineers that contributed to the development of the liquefaction and vulnerability modules.”

A large volume of claims and damage data was evaluated to validate the performance of the model, including the analysis of more than 635,000 claims from insurers spanning different segments of the insurance market as well as the review of more than 1,000 reports, papers, publications, and data sets from historical seismic events.

The AIR Earthquake Model for New Zealand is currently available in the Touchstone®, Touchstone Re, and CATRADER® catastrophe risk management systems.

About AIR Worldwide
AIR Worldwide (AIR) provides risk modeling solutions that make individuals, businesses, and society more resilient to extreme events. In 1987, AIR Worldwide founded the catastrophe modeling industry and today models the risk from natural catastrophes, terrorism, pandemics, casualty catastrophes, and cyber incidents. Insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate, and government clients rely on AIR’s advanced science, software, and consulting services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, longevity modeling, site-specific engineering analyses, and agricultural risk management. AIR Worldwide, a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) business, is headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in North America, Europe, and Asia. For more information, please visit


For more information, contact:
Kevin Long
AIR Worldwide
[email protected]