The Updated AIR Earthquake Model for New Zealand


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Located on the boundary of two of the world’s major tectonic plates – the Pacific Plate and Australian Plate – New Zealand is highly prone to earthquakes. There have been significant events in the last decade that have resulted in billions of dollars in insured losses, including the 2010-2011 Canterbury Earthquake Sequence and the M7.8 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

New Zealand earthquake preview graphic

Capture a time-dependent view of seismicity

A time-dependent view provides a more accurate view of the current seismic risk in New Zealand than a time-independent view. The AIR model captures the time-dependency of future earthquakes that could impact New Zealand, accounting for recent events and the time since the last major rupture relative to the historical recurrence interval of earthquakes on known faults.

View the infographic

Model complex multi-fault ruptures

AIR’s comprehensive view of seismicity includes complex multi-segment rupture scenarios to simulate events similar to the type of rupturing that was observed during the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake.

New Zealand Rupture Map

Difference In Rupture Probability




Understand key sub-perils of New Zealand earthquake risk

The updated New Zealand earthquake model captures the risk from trans-ocean basin tsunami, landslide, liquefaction, and fire following—the sub-perils responsible for the most significant earthquake losses. AIR has developed the first probabilistic trans-ocean basin tsunami model, which includes not just local and regional events, but also large far-field tsunamigenic earthquakes.

Read the AIR Current

Earthquake Model Output

Have confidence in your New Zealand earthquake model results

AIR researchers have analyzed claims data from multiple sources for several historical earthquakes in the development and validation of the model. Modeled losses have been compared against industry loss data from insurance associations, the Earthquake Commission, and private insurers to ensure the model results reflect actual loss experience. And the AIR Earthquake Model for New Zealand can be used to demonstrate compliance with the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s Catastrophe Risk Capital Charge requirement.

Read the blog "What's the Deal with 1 in 1,000?"


Capture your earthquake risk across New Zealand, identify business opportunities, and make better informed underwriting decisions

You can obtain a more holistic view of your earthquake risk for all your lines of business—including specialized risks such as large industrial facilities, infrastructure, marine cargo, builder’s risk, and land damage—and find opportunities to grow your business. Improve your risk differentiation by modeling the details of your exposure, including construction, occupancy, year built, and location, to better understand the vulnerability of your exposure. If any risk attributes are unknown, AIR's detailed industry exposure database will make reasonable assumptions regarding risk type based on the surrounding types of locations.



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