Improving Flood Insurance and Flood Risk Management: Insights from St. Louis, Missouri

38 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2009 Last revised: 29 May 2013

See all articles by Carolyn Kousky

Carolyn Kousky

Environmental Defense Fund

Howard Kunreuther

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

Date Written: March 3, 2009

Abstract

This paper examines the history of St. Louis, Missouri in coping with flood risk over the past 15 years, with a focus on flood insurance. Six challenges to the continued management of riverine flood risk are identified and discussed. They are (1) many property owners don't buy flood insurance, (2) people underestimate flood risk, (3) we need better flood maps, (4) we have a "love affair" with levees, (5) flood risk is increasing over time, and (6) we take deep pride in rebuilding after a disaster. Recommendations for how to improve flood risk management in light of these challenges are offered. Focused attention is given to the possibility of long-term flood insurance contracts tied to long-term loans for risk-mitigating activities in overcoming the six challenges.

Keywords: disaster insurance, National Flood Insurance Program, risk, floods

JEL Classification: Q54, G22

Suggested Citation

Kousky, Carolyn and Kunreuther, Howard C. and Kunreuther, Howard C., Improving Flood Insurance and Flood Risk Management: Insights from St. Louis, Missouri (March 3, 2009). RFF Discussion Paper No. 09-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1352466 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1352466

Carolyn Kousky (Contact Author)

Environmental Defense Fund ( email )

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Howard C. Kunreuther

University of Pennsylvania - Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center ( email )

3819 Chestnut Street
Suite 130
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-898-4589 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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