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Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

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Implementing The National Flood Insurance Reform Act In A New Era Of Catastrophes, Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan Oct 2013

Implementing The National Flood Insurance Reform Act In A New Era Of Catastrophes, Howard Kunreuther, Erwann Michel-Kerjan

Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative

The United States has entered a new era of catastrophes, of which floods have been the most devastating. Through its 2012 reform (Biggert-Waters Act), the 45-year old federally-run National Flood Insurance Program has an opportunity to highlight the role that risk-based premiums can play in encouraging individuals to undertake loss reduction measures. But the implementation of this reform is now being challenged due to concerns that residents cannot afford risk-based premiums. The authors of this brief propose that this can be overcome by successfully combining risk-based pricing, required insurance, means-tested insurance vouchers, and mitigation loans, so that individuals reduce their ...