The Government's Role in Climate Change Insurance

16 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015 Last revised: 17 Jun 2016

See all articles by Peter Molk

Peter Molk

University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: December 12, 2015


There are no robust insurance markets for climate change insurance. While these markets would provide valuable loss-mitigation incentives, at the same time giving financial certainty to individuals and businesses that face staggering future liabilities, existing efforts have produced a fragmented set of private and public products that provide only piecemeal coverage. This symposium contribution examines the government’s role in providing unified markets for insuring climate change risk. Although innovations in reinsurance markets suggest that private insurers could cover discrete risks associated with climate change, such as flood or wind loss, climate change’s broader systemic risks present problems of scale and scope that public insurance is better positioned to handle. I draw lessons from existing insurance programs to show both why purely private insurance would be inappropriate for a robust climate change insurance market, as well as how a nationally provided insurance program could be designed to avoid past problems.

Keywords: climate change, insurance, NFIP, catastrophe, risk, natural disaster

Suggested Citation

Molk, Peter, The Government's Role in Climate Change Insurance (December 12, 2015). Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, Vol. 43 (2016). Available at SSRN:

Peter Molk (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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