$190tn to insure the entire world’s population

Calculating this figure took an immense amount of computing power. Big data tech made it possible

Insurance News


The cost of insuring the world’s entire population is at an estimated to be US$190trn, or roughly 2.5 times the world’s GDP, as calculated by multinational insurance brokerage Willis Towers Watson.
The calculation, which involved giving the world’s 7.3 billion people with a US$100,000 whole-of-life insurance policy, was run on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. RiskAgility FM, a financial modelling tool by Willis Towers Watson, was the software used.
 It took around 90 minutes for the specialized network with over 100,000 processing cores to complete the calculation, divided over data centres located in Japan, India, Europe, Brazil and Australia, and other areas worldwide. If conducted on a single-core machine, it would’ve taken 19 years.
In 2012, Willis Towers Watson conducted the same calculation in a 50,000-core setup in a single data centre. The advancements in technology since then have allowed RiskAgility FM to distribute computing across multiple data centres to harness more computing power.
With regard to the technological advancement, Jonathan Silverman, insurance industry solutions director at Microsoft said, “The use of just a single programming interface on Microsoft Azure to do it, regardless of the number of cores involved, shows how easy it has become to achieve a level of scalability that was until now only possible through complex coding and intense management input.”

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