Why Do Few Homeowners Insure Against Natural Catastrophe Losses?

Benjamin Addai Antwi-Boasiako 1
  • 1 Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS), Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development (IOER), Faculty of Environmental Studies, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany


Insurance has been suggested as a policy instrument that can help in managing the rising economic cost of natural catastrophes. Evidence, however, shows that many homeowners do not insure their homes against natural catastrophes and tend to depend on (unreliable) disaster aid. This paper surveys the economics, insurance and psychology literature to explain why few homeowners insure against natural catastrophes. The paper covers the relevant theoretical approaches as well as the available empirical evidence and possible policy measures.

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The Review of Economics (Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftswissenschaften) is a peer-reviewed general interest journal publishing articles from all fields of economics with a strong policy focus. The journal aims to provide a forum for policy contributions and to influence the public debate.