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Challenging Insurability. Flood Management and Insurance Regulation

in association with Aon
December 2003

Currently, the insurance sector is under severe pressure from weather-induced risks. The safest response to such unknown risks seems to involve the state as insurer of last resort. Political involvement often takes the form of regulation: defining and clarifying the responsibilities and limitations of insurance. Many would argue that this is not enough and the state should take a more active role in the coverage against hazards. Focusing on current flood insurance it was observed that these state-industry co-operations vary across nations.

In this conference, different combinations of private-public flood insurance regimes were discussed. Focusing on the German system which operates state-run flood management schemes and the private English flood insurance, contrasting cases indicated mechanisms, strategies and regulatory decisions on insurability. But as floods cannot be dealt within national borders alone, international and supranational actors - specifically due to the reference of climate change - also start to intervene in national flood regimes.

This conference critically reviewed the still-fragmented work in these different areas and professional contexts on flood insurance management, contributing to a more comprehensive view on flood issues.

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