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A Comparative Study of Public—Private Catastrophe Insurance Systems: Lessons from Current Practices

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  • Youbaraj Paudel

    () (Department of Environmental Economics, The Institute of Environmental Studies, VU University Amsterdam, Amerbos 409, Amsterdam, NH 1025Zh, The Netherlands.)

Abstract

Natural disasters risk is increasing in several regions around the world as a result of socio-economic development and climate change. This indicates the importance of establishing affordable and sustainable natural disaster risk management and compensation arrangements. Given the complexity of insuring extreme risks, insurers and governments often cooperate in catastrophe insurance systems. This paper presents a comparative study of the main components and a broad range of indicators of fully private and fully public, as well as public-private (PP) insurance systems, for extreme events, in ten countries. This analysis results in the following nine main recommendations for policymakers who aim to establish new, or improve existing, insurance arrangements for natural disasters: (1) mandatory participation requirements are advisable to achieve a high market penetration rate; (2) adequate monitoring and enforcement mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure compliance with these requirements; (3) the government needs to take responsibility for part of the (extreme) damage in order to keep an insurance system financially viable and affordable; (4) private insurance companies should participate in a PP insurance scheme by selling and administering policies and by covering medium-sized losses; (5) the integration in systems of risk transferring mechanisms is advisable; (6) it is advisable that governments stimulate the building-up of insurers’ reserves by providing tax exemptions; (7) risk mitigation policies should be carefully integrated in a natural disaster insurance system; (8) a detailed assessment and mapping of risk provides the basis for an effective mitigation policy; (9) insurance should provide financial incentives for policyholders to take risk mitigation measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Youbaraj Paudel, 2012. "A Comparative Study of Public—Private Catastrophe Insurance Systems: Lessons from Current Practices," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 37(2), pages 257-285, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:gpprii:v:37:y:2012:i:2:p:257-285
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    Cited by:

    1. Nguyen, Cuong & Noy, Ilan, 2017. "Insuring earthquakes: How would the Californian and Japanese insurance programs have fared down under (after the 2011 New Zealand earthquake)?," Working Paper Series 6416, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. Swenja Surminski & Paul Hudson & Jeroen Aerts & Wouter Botzen & M.Conceição Colaço & Florence Crick & Jill Eldridge & Anna Lorant & António Macedo & Reinhard Mechler & Carlos Neto & Robin Nicolai & Di, 2015. "Novel and improved insurance instruments for risk reduction," GRI Working Papers 188, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    3. Noy, Ilan & Kusuma, Aditya & Nguyen, Cuong, 2017. "Insuring disasters: A survey of the economics of insurance programs for earthquakes and droughts," Working Paper Series 6408, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Surminski, Swenja & Eldridge, Jillian, 2015. "Flood insurance in England: an assessment of the current and newly proposed insurance scheme in the context of rising flood risk," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66256, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Hudson, Paul & Botzen, W.J. Wouter & Feyen, Luc & Aerts, Jeroen C.J.H., 2016. "Incentivising flood risk adaptation through risk based insurance premiums: Trade-offs between affordability and risk reduction," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 1-13.
    6. Botzen, W.J. Wouter & de Boer, Joop & Terpstra, Teun, 2013. "Framing of risk and preferences for annual and multi-year flood insurance," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 357-375.
    7. Amanda Savitt, 2017. "Insurance as a tool for hazard risk management? An evaluation of the literature," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 86(2), pages 583-599, March.

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