Innovative earthquake solutions for Switzerland

"Earthquake is still the most underestimated natural hazard in Switzerland, although the consequences of an event can be devastating for the whole country, regardless of where it occurs. Due to the low level of insurance penetration in this area, individuals, the economy and society are currently hardly protected against the financial consequences of an earthquake. Swiss Re has developed innovative and client-oriented solutions to close the existing protection gap - for the benefit of the individual and society as a whole."

Arnold Löw, Market Head P&C Switzerland

Innovative earthquake solutions for Switzerland

  • The strongest earthquake on record: The 1356 Basel earthquake. The last major earthquake was the 1946 Sierre event.
  • Damaging earthquakes1 (magnitude 5+) to occur every 10–20 years on average. This corresponds to a probability of 5%-10% within a year.
  • Major damaging earthquakes (magnitudes 6+) expected every 50–150 years, which is equivalent to an annual probability of 0.67%–2.0%.
  • A magnitude 6.2 earthquake in Central Switzerland, although a severe event, is a rare occurrence. It could, nevertheless, still happen - not just in Central Switzerland but anywhere in the country, at any time.

Earthquake 'shake vouchers'

Swiss Re has developed innovative 'shake vouchers' which offer customers a simple, transparent customer journey. These 'shake vouchers' provide quick payment for insureds to cover incidental losses and expenses.

Earthquake Indemnity Insurance

In case of an earthquake, banks may face problems from mortgage defaults if homeowners are not insured and thus no longer able to re-pay their loan. Our modelling, premium calculation skills and reinsurance capacity play a key role in collaborations with a broker, a bank and primary insurers on a solution for earthquake risk. Together we were able to design and launch a product that helps borrowers keep up with their mortgage payments if an EQ hits.

1 According to Swiss Seismological Service expects

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