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The logic of catastrophe is very different: You must select a newsletter to subscribe to. If there were a great number of rich cities scattered across the planet that might plausibly be destroyed by an earthquake, the insurer could spread its exposure to the losses by selling earthquake insurance to all Speed dating tables them.

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No hurricane has hit the coast of Georgia, for instance, since detailed records have been kept. It allows him to assign different odds to different stretches of coastline without making the random distinctions that actual hurricanes have made in the last years.

The insurance industry had been oblivious to the trends and continued to price catastrophic risk just as it always The hook up orleans ma, by the seat of its pants. Seo wondered, and then found the answer: Clark hired a few scientists and engineers, and she set to work acquiring more and better data and building better models.

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No individual car accident can be foreseen, obviously, but the total number of accidents over a large population is amazingly predictable. Newsletter Sign Up Please verify you're not a robot by clicking the box.

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Thank you for subscribing. Both were extreme, both were improbable and both needed to be insured against. But no one asked questions either. Generate a few hundred thousand hurricanes, and you generate not only dozens of massive hurricanes that hit Georgia but also a few that hit, say, Rhode Island.

Applied Insurance Research, she called it, or A. Clark soon found herself in a role for which she was, on the surface at least, ill suited: But what she really was doing — without quite realizing it — was waiting, waiting for a storm.

They had been lucky. You agree to receive occasional updates and special offers for The New York Times's products and services. The only way to handle them was to spread them widely, and the only way to do that was to get them out of the insurance industry and onto Wall Street.

Clark had been right: The company knows from past experience what percentage of the drivers it insures will file claims and how much those claims will cost.

At the same time, Americans were cramming themselves and their wealth onto the beach. They were comfortable with their own subjective judgment. Still, everywhere he goes, he has been drawn to a similar thorny problem: But there was a connection between financial catastrophe and natural catastrophe.

Out of the ashes was born a new industry, called reinsurance. And after all, how accurate were the models that forecast the likelihood that Enron would collapse? Eleven insurance companies went bust. The old insurance companies would still sell policies to the individual residents of Hamburg.

Geico sells auto insurance to more than seven million Americans.

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An error has occurred. The smaller one was that investors were occasionally slow to see the appeal of an investment whose first name was catastrophe. Advertisement Continue reading the main story The market was broken: A potentially huge, socially beneficial market was moments from birth. Still, he could see their unease in their prices: The losses it suffered in Tokyo would be offset by the gains it made from the cities not destroyed by an earthquake.

The more John Seo looked into the insurance industry, the more it seemed to be teetering at the edge of ruin.