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Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries : Principles for Public Intervention


  • J. David Cummins
  • Olivier Mahul


Public intervention in catastrophe insurance markets, supported by the donor community and the World Bank, should be country specific. Low-income countries, where the domestic non-life insurance market is undeveloped, should focus in the short term on the development of sovereign catastrophe insurance solutions and the promotion of public goods related to risk market infrastructure. These countries are usually not mature enough for the promotion of catastrophe insurance pools for private homeowners. Middle-income countries, where the domestic non-life insurance market is more developed, should help the private insurance industry offer market-based catastrophe insurance solutions to homeowners and to small and medium enterprises, including the agricultural sector. This book offers a framework, with lessons drawn from recent experience, guiding principles for public intervention and potential roles for donors and International Financial Institutions (IFIs). These lessons are expected to be used in developing affordable, effective and sustainable country-specific catastrophe insurance programs.

Suggested Citation

  • J. David Cummins & Olivier Mahul, 2009. "Catastrophe Risk Financing in Developing Countries : Principles for Public Intervention," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6289, Juni.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:6289

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. David Cummins & Richard D. Phillips, 2005. "Estimating the Cost of Equity Capital for Property‐Liability Insurers," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 72(3), pages 441-478, September.
    2. Zanjani, George, 2002. "Pricing and capital allocation in catastrophe insurance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 283-305, August.
    3. J. David Cummins, 2007. "Reinsurance for Natural and Man‐Made Catastrophes in the United States: Current State of the Market and Regulatory Reforms," Risk Management and Insurance Review, American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 10(2), pages 179-220, September.
    4. Froot, Kenneth A. & O'Connell, Paul G.J., 2008. "On the pricing of intermediated risks: Theory and application to catastrophe reinsurance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-85, January.
    5. Michael Rothschild & Joseph Stiglitz, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(4), pages 629-649.
    6. Winter Ralph A., 1994. "The Dynamics of Competitive Insurance Markets," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 379-415, September.
    7. Richard D. Phillips & J. David Cummins & Franklin Allen, 1996. "Financial Pricing of Insurance in the Multiple Line Insurance Company," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 96-09, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael R. CARTER & Alain de JANVRY & Elisabeth SADOULET & Alexandros SARRIS, 2014. "Index-based weather insurance for developing countries: A review of evidence and a set of propositions for up-scaling," Working Papers P111, FERDI.
    2. N. Karagiannis & H. Assa & A. A. Pantelous & C. G. Turvey, 2016. "Modelling and pricing of catastrophe risk bonds with a temperature-based agricultural application," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(12), pages 1949-1959, December.
    3. Poontirakul, Porntida & Brown, Charlotte & Noy, Ilan & Seville, Erica & Vargo, John, 2016. "The role of commercial insurance in post-disaster recovery: Quantitative evidence from the 2011 Christchurch earthquake," Working Paper Series 4980, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    4. Nipawan Thirawat & Sirikamon Udompol & Pathomdanai Ponjan, 2017. "Disaster risk reduction and international catastrophe risk insurance facility," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 22(7), pages 1021-1039, October.
    5. Ural Mert, 2016. "Risk management for sustainable tourism," European Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Recreation, Sciendo, vol. 7(1), pages 63-71, May.
    6. World Bank, 2012. "Fonden," World Bank Other Operational Studies 26881, The World Bank.
    7. 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.
    8. Mabel Marulanda & Omar Cardona & Miguel Mora & Alex Barbat, 2014. "Design and implementation of a voluntary collective earthquake insurance policy to cover low-income homeowners in a developing country," 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. 74(3), pages 2071-2088, December.
    9. World Bank, 2013. "Building Resilience : Integrating Climate and Disaster Risk into Development [Crear resiliencia mediante la integración de los riesgos climáticos y de desastre en el proceso de desarrollo - Resumen," World Bank Other Operational Studies 16639, The World Bank.
    10. Sommarat Chantarat, 2015. "Index-based Risk Financing and Development of Natural Disaster Insurance Programs in Developing Countries," PIER Discussion Papers 10., Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Nov 2015.
    11. Borensztein, Eduardo & Cavallo, Eduardo & Jeanne, Olivier, 2017. "The welfare gains from macro-insurance against natural disasters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 142-156.
    12. Jakob Korbinian Eberl, 2016. "The Collateral Framework of the Eurosystem and Its Fiscal Implications," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 69.
    13. Wu, Yang-Che, 2015. "Reexamining the feasibility of diversification and transfer instruments on smoothing catastrophe risk," Insurance: Mathematics and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 54-66.
    14. 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.
    15. Razmig Keucheyan, 2018. "Insuring Climate Change: New Risks and the Financialization of Nature," Development and Change, International Institute of Social Studies, vol. 49(2), pages 484-501, March.
    16. Surminski, Swenja & Oramas-Dorta, Delioma, 2013. "Flood insurance schemes and climate adaptation in developing countries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 66294, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Asian Development Bank Institute, 2017. "Risk Financing for Rural Climate Resilience in the Greater Mekong Subregion," Working Papers id:11761, eSocialSciences.
    18. Lam, Juan Carlos & Adey, Bryan T. & Heitzler, Magnus & Hackl, Jürgen & Gehl, Pierre & van Erp, Noel & D'Ayala, Dina & van Gelder, Pieter & Hurni, Lorenz, 2018. "Stress tests for a road network using fragility functions and functional capacity loss functions," Reliability Engineering and System Safety, Elsevier, vol. 173(C), pages 78-93.
    19. Vondolia, Godwin K. & Navrud, Ståle, 2019. "Are non-monetary payment modes more uncertain for stated preference elicitation in developing countries?," Journal of choice modelling, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 73-87.
    20. repec:wbk:wboper:16761 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Surminski, Swenja, 2014. "The role of insurance in reducing direct risk: the case of flood insurance," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60764, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    22. Goetz von Peter & Sebastian von Dahlen & Sweta C Saxena, 2012. "Unmitigated disasters? New evidence on the macroeconomic cost of natural catastrophes," BIS Working Papers 394, Bank for International Settlements.
    23. World Bank Group, 2016. "Colombia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25288, The World Bank.
    24. Fuentes-Castro, Hugo Javier. & Reyna-Bernal, Ana María., 2014. "Comparando con las grandes. Retos para las aseguradoras en reducción de costos," Panorama Económico, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, vol. 0(19), pages 7-32, segundo s.
    25. International Monetary Fund, 2016. "Eastern Caribbean Currency Union; 2016 Discussion on Common Policies of Member Countries-Press Release and Staff Report," IMF Staff Country Reports 16/333, International Monetary Fund.


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