Defining the Roles of the Public and Private Sector in Risk Communication, Risk Reduction, and Risk Transfer

Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 17-09

31 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by Carolyn Kousky

Carolyn Kousky

Resources for the Future

Howard Kunreuther

University of Pennsylvania - Operations, Information and Decisions Department; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 22, 2017

Abstract

Insurance is an essential component of household and community resilience: it protects insureds financially against disaster losses, can encourage investments in cost-effective mitigation measures through premium reductions, and facilitates rebuilding of property and long-term recovery following a disaster via claim payments. Private insurers face challenges in providing protection against low-probability, high-consequence events, however, and the perceived market failures have led governments around the world to create various (quasi to fully) public insurance entities, often designed as public–private partnerships. This paper synthesizes findings from six papers and the resulting discussion at a November 2016 workshop, “Improving Disaster Financing: Evaluating Policy Interventions in Disaster Insurance Markets.” Participants evaluated disaster insurance programs for flood, earthquake, and terrorism losses, as well as comprehensive homeowners policies.

This paper discusses the difficulties in providing protection against these types of disasters and suggests ways to improve public-private partnerships for disaster financing in three interrelated areas:

(1) risk communication,

(2) risk reduction, and

(3) risk transfer.

The paper concludes with a proposal for a comprehensive insurance program that could harness the benefits of both the public and private sectors.

Suggested Citation

Kousky, Carolyn and Kunreuther, Howard C., Defining the Roles of the Public and Private Sector in Risk Communication, Risk Reduction, and Risk Transfer (May 22, 2017). Resources for the Future Discussion Paper 17-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3029630 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3029630

Carolyn Kousky (Contact Author)

Resources for the Future ( email )

1616 P Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

Howard C. Kunreuther

University of Pennsylvania - Operations, Information and Decisions Department ( email )

3730 Walnut Street
558 & 559 Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-5340
United States
212-854-0423 (Phone)
215-573-2130 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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