The record-breaking 2004 hurricane season led to a much greaterfocus on aggregate risk, which will prompt changes in catastropherisk assessment, Randall Brubaker, senior vice president of AonCorp., told attendees at a recent Casualty Actuarial Societymeeting.

Brubaker noted that companies buying reinsurance are much moreinterested in understanding aggregate probable maximum losses thanthey were before. Up until last year, most of the hurricanes weremissing the United States coastline, but a shift in the upperatmospheric weather patterns resulted in above-average U.S.landfalls.

“Last year, we had a ridge of high pressure in the East thatcaused the hurricanes to get pulled further west into the Caribbeanbefore turning north,” he said. “That's what caused them toconverge on Florida.” The question, he continued, is whether thisis a trend. “Is this going to continue and be something that we'regoing to see several seasons in succession? I don't think anybodyknows that; at least if they do, they aren't saying anything.”

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