Fire in Practice – Ioana Dima-West and Alec Vessey, AXA XL (28 June)

Fire in Practice – Ioana Dima-West and Alec Vessey, AXA XL (28 June)

In our latest Fire in Practice seminar, Drs Ioana Dima-West and Alec Vessey talk about quantifying wildfire risk in the Insurance Industry

Register for free on Eventbrite


Quantifying Wildfire Risk in the Insurance Industry


In recent years there have been unprecedent losses due to wildfires across the world. The total global economic wildfire losses in 2017 and 2018 were both three times larger than in any previous year (Munich Re). Consequently, wildfires are becoming a natural peril of growing importance, which needs better understanding and modelling within the insurance industry.

In this presentation, we aim to briefly introduce our roles as scientists within the insurance industry at AXA XL. We hope to give you some insight into how we use wildfire-assessment-tools within our business and then describe trends we are observing regarding wildfires. We also aim to describe how wildfire losses are modelled using catastrophe models and risk scoring models. Finally, we describe AXA XL’s current and future interests and various questions we are confronting with regarding wildfires

About the Speakers

Dr Ioana Dima-West

Senior Manager – Science / Climate Change, AXA XL

Ioana has received her PhD in Atmospheric Science from the University of Washington (Seattle, USA) and then went on to develop a career within the analytical / scientific side of the (Re)Insurance industry. Throughout her roles at Verisk-AIR, Willis Re and currently AXA XL, she has worked to develop, evaluate, and adjust catastrophe-models, and subsequently advise clients on the most optimal use of such analytical tools for their business. In addition, Ioana has been heavily involved in making the connection between academia and industry, by working to translate latest scientific findings into relevant business applications.

Dr Alec Vessey

Senior Analyst – Science / Climate Change, AXA XL

Alec has received his PhD in Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate from the University of Reading in 2021 and has, relatively speaking, just started his career within the analytical / scientific side of the (Re)Insurance industry. Alec started his role at AXA XL in July 2021, and over the last year has worked to help with regulatory climate change stress tests, evaluate catastrophe models and share expertise of the climate system to colleagues. Alec has also gained experience in working in projects with academic partners to help answer AXA XLs’ insurance-related questions.

Fire in Practice seminars

The Fire in Practice – Conversations with Wildfire Practitioners seminar series, organised by the Leverhulme Centre for Wildfires, Environment and Society, aims to explore the developments and challenges in the ‘real world’ of landscape fire, reflecting on the role and opportunities of research in addressing the issues. The seminars will be held every two months (usually the last Tuesday of the month), and are free and open to all interested audiences. Each seminar involves 30-40min of a guest speaker presentation, followed by opportunity for Q&A and discussion.

Once you have registered, you will receive a joining link closer to the event.

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