Press Release

Six Experts Evaluate Disaster Insurance Programs

Feb 16, 2017

WASHINGTON—Today, papers and policy briefs by a group of experts in the field of disaster insurance were posted by Resources for the Future (RFF). They examine current government disaster insurance programs, with the aim of improving our approaches to disaster risk financing to reduce risk and limit fiscal exposure.

The papers introduced today were presented and discussed at a workshop—Improving Disaster Financing: Evaluating Policy Interventions in Disaster Insurance Markets—held in November 2016 at RFF in Washington, DC, co-organized by Carolyn Kousky (RFF) and Howard Kunreuther (Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center). The workshop engaged researchers, policymakers, and private sector experts in a lively dialogue about the private and public sector roles in disaster insurance markets.

Kousky and Kunreuther note: “Insurance is an essential component of household and community resilience. It protects families and businesses financially against disaster losses and encourages investment in loss reducing measures. The increasing damage from disasters makes such protection ever more important, but has also created challenges for the insurance industry to underwrite these risks given the potential for catastrophic losses.”

Papers and policy briefs are available here: Improving Disaster Financing.

Disaster insurance programs included in the analyses are as follows:

  • National Flood Insurance Program, by Carolyn Kousky
  • Florida’s public wind pools, by Lorilee A. Medders and Jack E. Nicholson
  • Terrorism Risk and Insurance Program, by Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Howard Kunreuther
  • California Earthquake Authority, by Daniel Marshall
  • Flood Re in the United Kingdom, by Swenja Surminski
  • All-hazards homeowners policies, by Howard Kunreuther

The organizers would like to thank the sponsors of this workshop: the American Academy of Actuaries; the American Risk and Insurance Association; Risk Management Solutions; the Society of Actuaries; and XL Catlin.

Resources for the Future does not take institutional positions. Please attribute any findings to the authors or the research itself. For example, use "According to research from RFF …" rather than "According to RFF …".

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Resources for the Future (RFF) is an independent, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, DC, that conducts rigorous economic research and analysis to improve environmental and natural resource policy.