Around 180 academics and practitioners from 17 countries across 6 continents attended the Drake Risk and Insurance Workshop on Catastrophe Risk that took place on February 19, 2021. The day-long workshop covered a range of issues from the rise of natural disasters driven by climate change to the impact of the global pandemic on the insurance industry and the people and communities it serves. The virtual event was hosted by the School of Actuarial Science & Risk Management at Drake University.

“Drake University’s location in Des Moines, a city which is home to more than 80 insurance companies, puts us in a unique position to host a day of conversations on the impact of catastrophes on the industry,” said Alejandro Hernandez, dean of the College of Business and Public Administration, which is home to Drake’s actuarial science program. “The large number of attendees–which included 91 academics from 46 universities and 86 industry practitioners from 50 companies and government departments–made it clear to us that the topic of how to respond to the increasing frequency and severity of catastrophes resonated across business schools, and government and business communities.”

The Workshop–which included 18 talks and a roundtable–served as a platform for academic researchers and industry practitioners to exchange research ideas and disseminate recent advances in catastrophe insurance and related fields. In conjunction with the event, the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Risks launched a special issue on “Catastrophe Risk and Insurance” in recognition of the importance of the topic and the scientific value of the talks. Yiqing Chen, associate professor at Drake and chair of the workshop’s organizing committee, is co-editing this special issue together with Tim Boonen from the University of Amsterdam.