عنوان مقاله [English]
Iran is located in a high seismic area and has many vulnerable buildings against earthquake as well. Combination of high seismicity of the country and vulnerability of buildings can lead to high levels of risk for the country, which shows the importance of risk management before and after events.
A catastrophic event such as a major earthquake can result in loss of life and serious damage to buildings and their contents, which Iran has experienced many of them during Bam, Manjil and other big earthquakes in the past.
Being prepared for a natural disaster is not a new problem. More-developed countries, governments, individuals and corporations around the world are aware of the fact that they need to be prepared against catastrophic events; however, they do not often take the necessary steps to prepare for a disaster. Only after a big disaster occurs, they recognize the importance of preparing for these types of extreme events and implication of disaster risk management tools. This is a bigger issue in developing countries where there is not enough financial resources or lacking a comprehensive risk management plan in place to manage these risks. In general, there are two approaches in managing catastrophic risks, risk distribution and risk mitigation. The main focus of this paper is on risk distribution. In order to assess available financial resources to cope with earthquake losses, we developed risk distribution tools which also take the financial vulnerability of the people and the region into account. These tools are earthquake insurance systems by using excess of loss insurance mechanism in which we could look at different layers of risk and risk management strategy associated with them. An insurer provides protection to residential and commercial property owners for losses resulting from natural disasters. Losses from natural disasters can have a severe impact on an insurer’s financial condition. Owners of commercial and residential structures on the other side, have a range of risk management strategies from which to choose. They can reduce their risk by retrofitting a structure to withstand earthquake loading, transfer part of their risk by purchasing some form of insurance, and/or keep and finance their risk. The ways in which particular individuals decide to manage risk is often a function of their perceptions. Many homeowners do not take action even when the risk is abundantly clear and loss-reducing measures are available. It is often the case that these homeowners feel that a disaster will not affect them. This shows the high importance of the acceptance of these risk management approaches by the society and the need to make people aware of their risk and providing incentives for them.
The other important factor in every insurance system is affordability of earthquake premiums for people that is crucial in establishment and stability of the insurance system in the society which is investigated in this research. Probabilistic approach used here to assess the risk, shows a big difference between insurance premiums in Iran at the moment and risk-based premiums calculated in this research. This emphasizes the importance of incorporating the real risk assessment in decision making before and after catastrophic events. Catastrophe models are playing an important role in managing the risk of natural hazards through the establishment of risk-based insurance rates. These rates provide price information and economic incentives to mitigate and manage risks from low probability events that otherwise would be ignored until the disaster has occurred. The paper concluded by discussing the essential need to the use of catastrophe models for rate-setting purposes and also the importance of public-private partnership of the people and government and insurance companies in managing catastrophic events.
Finally, the essential need to risk mitigation actions for very vulnerable assets and the need to get help from reinsurance and governmental help in the process of catastrophe risk management is shown here.