A decade of progress since the Edgecumbe earthquake

Risk and insurance

  • R. Bruce Shephard Opus International Consultants, Wellington, New Zealand


The 2 March 1987 Edgecumbe earthquake of magnitude (ML) 6.3 resulted in a total loss of some NZ$430M and an insured loss of about NZ$330, (non inflation adjusted). Coupled with other world wide natural disasters resulting in large loss costs, particularly insurance costs, the Edgecumbe earthquake contributed to increasing international costs from natural hazards. As well as putting increasing demands on the world insurance markets it also drew attention of insurers to the potential of earthquake loss in New Zealand. With insurance at higher premium rates, and in some situations difficult to obtain cover, there developed increasing demand for loss assessments and risk management applications. The basic development of earthquake loss methodologies had been established in the early 1980's. Developments of the decade following the Edgecumbe earthquake have focused on refinement of these methods, research and collection of data, applications of computer systems, and extensions to other applications.


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How to Cite
Shephard, R. B. (1997). A decade of progress since the Edgecumbe earthquake. Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering, 30(2), 185-193. https://doi.org/10.5459/bnzsee.30.2.185-193