Rewarding Communities that Build for the Future: A Resilience Policy Score

One step to start encouraging local governments to pay more attention to disaster costs is a community resilience policy score. This could be used by insurers to offer more competitive rates in higher scoring areas, by rating agencies in assessing bond ratings for hazard-prone locations, or by FEMA in allocating disaster aid. Read More

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

Does the Coastal Barrier Resources Act Provide a Policy Template to Address Wildfire Risk?

The CBRA prohibits federal financial assistance related to new development in designated coastal barrier areas, forcing private actors to bear the full costs of development. Could a similar approach be used to address escalating wildfire costs? Could Congress designate a “High Wildfire Hazard Resources System” to eliminate federal incentives to develop those lands?Read More

Moving the Needle on Closing the Flood Insurance Gap

In October 2018, the Wharton Risk Center’s Policy Incubator hosted a workshop designed to evaluate policy options for expanding the number of people with flood insurance in the United States. In our most recent issue brief, we present seven approaches that workshop participants felt had the potential to generate substantial increases in take-up rates across the country.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

Hack-for-Resilience

The University of Pennsylvania is home to the world’s first and one of the largest student-run hackathons. Over one weekend in early September roughly 1,200 students converged for PennApps. Over 3,000 students had applied to attend. This year, the Wharton Risk Center’s Policy Incubator and the Insurance Information Institute teamed up to sponsor a “hack-for-resilience” route. Read More

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