Must Floodplain Buyouts Decrease Tax Revenue?

One frequent challenge is that local government officials are reluctant to offer post-disaster housing buyout programs because buyouts can result in lost property tax revenue: if residents relocate into other jurisdictions and properties are kept as vacant lots, tax revenue falls.  While the potential loss of tax revenue necessarily plays a major role in local level decisions, buyout programs can be designed such that they minimize potential losses or even increase local revenues by coupling the buyouts to strong land-use planning strategies that enhance the community.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

Regional Conservation as a Climate Adaptation Tool

St. Louis’ Great Rivers Greenway (GRG) District oversees planning and execution of a network of trails and open spaces designed to link rivers, parks, and communities throughout the St. Louis region. Although not established with climate adaptation as an objective, this approach to conservation, often targeted at riparian corridors, has created natural infrastructure that lowers flood damages. This model that could be adopted in other regions as a way to fund green infrastructure for building climate resiliency.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

The Challenges of Disaster Insurance

As Texas begins the long process of recovery from Hurricane Harvey, and Florida braces for a possible hit from Hurricane Irma, too few victims will have the financial support of insurance payouts. Insurance should be a critical component of disaster recovery. Federal disaster aid grants are surprisingly limited, often not more than a few thousand dollars, and it often takes months or years to get into the hands of victims. Small Business Administration loans can be obtained to help finance recovery (for households, as well as businesses), but for fast money for rebuilding, there is no substitute for insurance.Read More