RFF Project

Improving Disaster Financing

Researchers, policymakers, and private sector experts come together for critical conversations about the role of government in disaster insurance markets.

In November 2016, Resources for the Future and the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center brought together researchers, policymakers, and private sector experts for critical conversations about the role of government in disaster insurance markets. At the workshop, “Improving Disaster Financing: Evaluating Policy Interventions in Disaster Insurance Markets,” world-renowned scholars presented papers on six governmental disaster insurance programs: the National Flood Insurance Program, the California Earthquake Authority, Florida’s public wind pools, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program, Flood Re in the United Kingdom, and a potential all-hazards homeowners policy. Participants discussed the ideal roles of the public and private sectors in disaster risk financing and evaluated each program against a range of topic areas, such as incentives for risk reduction, take-up rates, how costs are distributed, and the influence on the private market. 

The papers have also been submitted to a special issue of Risk Management and Insurance Review. A workshop synthesis paper and papers on the individual disaster insurance programs follow below.

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

Synthesis Paper

Defining the Roles of the Public and Private Sector in Risk Communication, Risk Reduction, and Risk Transfer
Carolyn Kousky and Howard Kunreuther

Papers by Disaster Insurance Program

National Flood Insurance Program
Carolyn Kousky

Florida’s Public Wind Pools
Lorilee A. Medders and Jack E. Nicholson

California Earthquake Authority
Daniel Marshall

Terrorism Risk Insurance Program
Erwann Michel-Kerjan and Howard Kunreuther

Flood Re (United Kingdom)
Swenja Surminski

All-Hazards Homeowners Policies
Howard Kunreuther