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Title:Proceedings Mid-America Earthquake Insurance Workshop - New Research Needs
Contributor(s):Beavers, James E.
Subject(s):Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center
Abstract:On July 28-29, 1999, the Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center and the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) co-hosted their first insurance industry research needs workshop at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The title of the workshop was Mid- America Earthquake Insurance Workshop – New Research Needs. The workshop was by invitation only and addressed the research needs of insurers of personal lines, commercial lines and reinsurance. Invitations went to the top 50 insurance company groups writing the largest volume of earthquake insurance in Mid-America. During the first day of the workshop the authors of commissioned papers made presentations and the attendees had an opportunity to comment and question any findings and issues presented. On the second day, the workshop attendees broke up into two working groups, those representing personal lines and those representing commercial lines and reinsurance. Based on the previous day’s discussion and overall goal of the workshop, each group was to identify specific earthquake research needs and prioritize them. A facilitator and secretary was assigned to each working group. 10. During the workshop numerous research needs and issues were identified. Although there was a long list of research needs identified, some very general and some very detailed, it appears the highest priority needs can be identified into two general categories, improved understanding of the seismic hazard and retrofit and performance of structures. In addition, to the general category of research needs, education of the consumer was also identified as a high priority. In the case of research needs for understanding the seismic hazard, the MAE Center and its partners, like the United States Geological Survey, are devoting significant resources toward solving this problem, with special emphasis on reducing the uncertainty in defining the hazard. However, with respect to understanding the performance of structures there were specific research needs identified the MAE Center has not been addressing. That research includes the performance of residential construction and retrofit solutions. As a result and as discussed in the proceedings, the MAE Center has established and is funding a pilot project on residential construction with representatives of the insurance industry as advisors. It consists of the evaluation of the seismic performance and assessment of the vulnerability of a common class of light-frame construction (wood frame structures with brick veneer) using cyclic static tests of representative component subassemblies and dynamic tests of wall systems. In addition, the Center is in the process of developing a program on the seismic performance and vulnerability of residential construction consisting of unreinforced masonry basements and crawl spaces. In addition to discussing potential projects for specific residential construction and retrofit solutions, during the personal lines breakout session of the workshop, two recommendations were made related to the formation of an insurance industry seismic research consortium to consider ongoing funding of focused research by the Center. The first was for the IBHS Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to act as a focal point for the insurance industry and the second for the MAE Center to prepare a proposal for the formation of such a consortium. While this was discussed in the closing session no formal recommendations were made at that time. However, the MAE Center and IBHS through the Collaboratory are pursuing the establishment of the consortium.
Issue Date:2000-11
Series/Report:Mid-America Earthquake Center CD Release 00-06
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Technical Report
Sponsor:National Science Foundation CMS-9701785
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-12-08

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