Incentivizing Local Governments to Manage Disaster Risk More Effectively

To effectively reduce federal exposure to disaster losses and simultaneously encourage local governments to better manage their risk and invest more in cost-effective risk reduction measures, FEMA should widely eliminate assistance for the repair and reconstruction of public buildings, exempting small and financially challenged communities that would not otherwise recover.Read More

The Role of Natural Disaster Insurance in Recovery and Risk Reduction

As climate change continues to influence extreme events, the role of insurance in adapting to these changes is becoming an increasingly important topic. In theory, insurance has a critical role to play in promoting disaster resilience. However, empirical papers cleanly identifying the relationships between insurance and recovery and mitigation outcomes is surprisingly limited.Read More

Local Solutions to Flood Insurance Affordability: Portland’s Flood Insurance Savings Program

In a new issue brief, we examine Portland’s Flood Insurance Savings Program in detail, discussing its structure, participants, and impact on flood insurance premiums. We also identify lessons learned that may be useful to other communities struggling with flood insurance affordability and to policymakers considering NFIP reform.Read More

The 3 Maps That Explain Residential Flood Insurance Purchases

While take-up rates in many parts of the country remain low for flood insurance, there are places where many households are insured and, surprisingly, places where most flood insurance is purchased outside of the FEMA-mapped high-risk areas. We offer three findings about residential NFIP purchases as demonstrated in three maps.Read More

Policy Incubator Receives Julio Castelo Matrán International Insurance Award

On June 14th, The Wharton Risk Center’s Policy Incubator received the Julio Castelo Matrán International Insurance Award from Fundación MAPFRE, a Madrid-based non-profit foundation committed to human well-being and social progress. Presented biennially, the €30,000 award recognizes projects that foster economic stability and solidarity through insurance and/or social protection.Read More

Reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program

In undertaking the reauthorization of the NFIP, Congress should bear in mind two guiding principles for insurance.  In addition, with increased knowledge of consumer behavior, a behavioral risk audit provides strategies that will nudge and incentivize individuals to make decisions that will ultimately reduce their future flood-related losses.Read More

Revised Risk Assessments

2017 proved to be one of the costliest disaster years on record.  Total damages in the US for the year are estimated to exceed $300 billion.  Insured losses for all natural disasters in 2017 will total around $135 billion.

Do events like these cause (re)insurers to update their risk assessments?  How do firms, consumers, and government respond to a perceived change in risk?  Carolyn Kousky examines these questions in a book chapter titled “Revised Risk Assessments and the Insurance Industry” in the recently released Policy Shock, edited by Edward J. Balleisen, Lori S. Bennear, Kimberly D. Krawiec, and Jonathan B. Wiener.  The chapter limits its attention to disaster insurance.Read More

Look to Caribbean risk insurance model for US hurricane recovery

The first few days after a disaster, such as we have recently experienced with Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, are about emergency response: making sure people are safe, reuniting families, securing housing, filling necessities and restoring lifelines. But as days shift to weeks and then months and years, the slow process of rebuilding is undertaken. At every step of the way is the question of financing. Are there dollars available for what needs to be done? Who will pay for it? How will the costs be shared?Read More