The Catastrophic Effects of Natural Disasters on Insurance Markets

33 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2006 Last revised: 29 Mar 2021

See all articles by W. Kip Viscusi

W. Kip Viscusi

Vanderbilt University - Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics; Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management; Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics

Patricia Born

Florida State University - College of Business; Florida State University - College of Law; California State University, Northridge - Department of Finance, Real Estate, & Insurance

Date Written: July 2006

Abstract

Natural catastrophes often have catastrophic risks on insurance companies as well as on the insured. Using a very large dataset on homeowners%u2019 insurance coverage by state, by firm, and by year for the 1984 to 2004 period, this paper documents the positive effect on losses and loss ratios of both unexpected catastrophes as well as large events that the authors term %u201Cblockbuster catastrophes.%u201D Insurers adapt to these catastrophic risks by raising insurance rates, leading to lower loss ratios after the catastrophic event. There is a widespread event of unexpected catastrophes and blockbuster catastrophes that reduces total premiums earned in the state, reduces the total number writing insurance coverage in the state, and leads to the exit of firms from the state. Firms with low levels of homeowners%u2019 premiums are most adversely affected by the catastrophes.

Suggested Citation

Viscusi, W. Kip and Born, Patricia H., The Catastrophic Effects of Natural Disasters on Insurance Markets (July 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12348, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=913311

W. Kip Viscusi (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
615-343-7715 (Phone)
615-322-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Vanderbilt University - Department of Economics

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Owen Graduate School of Management

401 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
United States
(615) 343-7715 (Phone)
(615) 343-5953 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.vanderbilt.edu/faculty/viscusi.htm

Vanderbilt University - Strategy and Business Economics ( email )

Nashville, TN 37203
United States

Patricia H. Born

Florida State University - College of Business ( email )

250 Rovetta Business Building
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1110
United States

Florida State University - College of Law

425 W. Jefferson Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
United States

California State University, Northridge - Department of Finance, Real Estate, & Insurance ( email )

Northridge, CA 91330-8379
United States

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