Volcano eruptions: a neglected threat

Ash falling on the street after a volcano eruption (photo)

Swiss Re has developed the industry’s first global risk model to support clients in assessing volcanic risks and develop suitable insurance products.

The destructive power of volcanic ash

Volcanic eruptions are rare and remain a largely unmodelled peril for the insurance industry. With almost one billion people living within 150 kilometres of volcanoes globally, volcanic ash fall is a serious threat on global economies and infrastructure. We recently helped one of our clients in Japan to place an insurance-like product to cover losses from volcanic activity for the hospitality business, including having fewer tourists.


Active volcanoes assessed by Swiss Re’s model globally.

Monitoring global volcano threats

Our model, launched in 2017, is the first exposure-based, probabilistic one with a global scope in the industry, focusing on the property loss potentially stemming from volcanic ash fall. Today, Managua, the capital of Nicaragua, is leading the ranking of the world’s top 15 largest cities at risk of a substantial loss from volcanic ash fall. To check out the ranking, go to: www.swissre.com.

Research at an active volcano (photo)