RFF on the Issues

RFF on the Issues: Building Resilience through Community Flood Insurance

May 27, 2016 | Shannon Wulf Tregar

Flooding costs an average of $8 billion in annual damages and caused more human casualties than any other kind of natural disaster in 2015. New initiatives addressing communities’ vulnerability to disasters are promising, yet political and financial obstacles remain.

In a blog post about their new research, RFF’s Carolyn Kousky and Len Shabman suggest how to promote household and community resilience and facilitate a speedy recovery after the waters recede: adopt community flood insurance. A policy design that allows entire communities to purchase flood insurance on behalf of floodplain residents could be the first increment of a layered approach to full flood coverage. A design inspired by parametric insurance products, they note, “simplifies the process of setting the premium and greatly reduces the cost of settling claims. These administrative savings can be passed on to the insured.”

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