05 February 2012

Updated: Normalized Disaster Losses in Australia

Figure. Annual aggregate insured losses (AUD$ million) for weather-related events in the Disaster List for years beginning 1 July with losses normalised to season 2011/12 values.

Ryan Crompton of Risk Frontiers at Macquarie University has provided an update of their normalized loss catalog which is shown in the graph above. Crompton sends along this description of the update:
The normalised loss figure shown above is an updated version of that published in Crompton and McAneney (2008). The methodology used to normalise losses has been refined and the loss data from seasons 2006/07 - 2010/11 has been included and normalised to season 2011/12 values. The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) insured loss data is current as at 31/1/12.

In our previous normalisation of the Disaster List ending at the 2005/06 season (Crompton and McAneney, 2008) we noted the low loss activity in the most recent 5 seasons analysed. Since that time there has been heightened weather-related loss activity with the most recent 5 seasons to 2010/11 averaging slightly more than double the 45-year average. The average annual weather-related insured loss over the most recent 10 seasons (2001/02 – 2010/11) is within approximately 30% of the average annual loss over the full 45-year period of the Disaster List.


  1. This graph appears to support your conclusion. There is no discernible signal in the data, which supports a correlation between human losses and the declared periods of heightened human influenced climate variability, let alone a dependence between the two variables.

    Since our system is open and incompletely characterized; since it is sufficiently complex that it can only be described by a behavioral envelope; and since statistical inference only seems to legitimately apply to its most primitive components; is it justified to employ statistical models about the future behavior of the system?

    I am also concerned that the consensus position has employed emotional appeals and extortion in order to force compliance by the general population. Then there is the matter of rejecting merited arguments and evidence which contradict the consensus position. Why are they forcing their position with only the support of limited, circumstantial evidence, bearing an intermittent consistency with physical observations? Is there a secret knowledge, which has not been revealed to the general public? I ask because I have less access to this information than someone in your position, and my civil representatives also cannot answer the question definitively.

    Why isn't there a rational review of the available resources and identification of their optimal application? I know there is a covert dynamic which directs politics, including the proverbial prevailing winds; but, the policies we have pursued are, ostensibly, not in our best interests and are clearly unsustainable. This includes, but is not limited to, our military engagements, economic dependence, inconsistent employment, population density, and foreign policy which tolerates corruption.

    Anyway, I know that everyone has to have a focus in order to be most effective, so thanks for sharing information and insights from your domain of expertise.

  2. Any hint on what the annualised losses have come out as, as a result of the new analysis?