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At War with the WeatherManaging Large-Scale Risks in a New Era of Catastrophes$
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Howard C. Kunreuther and Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012829

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012829.001.0001

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A New Era of Catastrophes

A New Era of Catastrophes

Chapter:
(p.2) (p.3) 1 A New Era of Catastrophes
Source:
At War with the Weather
Author(s):

Howard C. Kunreuther

Erwann O. Michel-Kerjan

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262012829.003.0001

This chapter examines the increase in catastrophic losses in the United States and how various stakeholders, given their different positions and, in some cases, different interests, can manage the associated risks and costs. It presents statistics showing that there has been a pronounced increase in economic losses resulting from natural disasters, including hurricanes, since 1990. In addition, property values at risk in hazard-prone areas in the United States have risen considerably in recent years. Although the impact of climate change on these increased losses is not clear, there is growing concern that global warming might trigger much stronger hurricanes hitting the coast over a shorter period of time and increased damage to property. Aside from insurers and reinsurers, natural disasters involve many interested parties such as homeowners, banks and other financial institutions, the real estate community, the construction industry and developers, the capital markets, and government.

Keywords:   catastrophic losses, United States, economic losses, natural disasters, hurricanes, climate change, property, homeowners, insurers, reinsurers

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