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Paying the Price: The Status and Role of Insurance Against Natural Disasters in the United States


Paying the Price

The Status and Role of Insurance Against Natural Disasters in the United States (1998)

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This book considers the effectiveness of insurance coverage for low-probability, high-consequence events such as natural disasters—and how insurance programs can successfully be used with other policy tools, such as building codes and standards, to encourage effective loss reduction measures.

The authors discuss the reasons for the dramatic increase in insured losses from natural disasters since 1989 and the concern that insurers have about their ability to provide coverage against more such events in the future. It addresses why there has been an increasing demand for hazards insurance, what types of coverage private insurers are willing to offer, and the role of reinsurance and private-/public-sector initiatives at the state and federal levels for providing protection to victims of natural disasters.

Detailed case studies of the challenges facing Florida in the wake of Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and California following the Northridge earthquake in 1994 reveal the challenges facing the insurance industry as well as other concerned stakeholders. The National Flood Insurance Program illustrates how a public-/private-sector partnership can mitigate damages and provide financial protection to victims. The book identifies new initiatives for reducing future losses and providing funds for recovery through cooperation by the relevant parties.

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The views expressed in this book are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academies.


Suggested Citation

Howard Kunreuther, et al. 1998. Paying the Price: The Status and Role of Insurance Against Natural Disasters in the United States. Washington, DC: Joseph Henry Press.

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Publication Info

318 pages | 6 x 9 | 

  • Hardcover:  978-0-309-06361-6
  • Ebook:  978-0-309-17469-5

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