"AIR Worldwide (AIR) is the scientific leader and most respected provider of risk modeling software and consulting services. AIR founded the catastrophe modeling industry in 1987 and today models the risk from natural catastrophes and terrorism in more than 50 countries. More than 400 insurance, reinsurance, financial, corporate and government clients rely on AIR software and services for catastrophe risk management, insurance-linked securities, site-specific wind and seismic engineering analyses, agricultural risk management, and property replacement cost valuation." — About AIR (from website)
"The authors consider personal and commercial insurers in their empirical analysis. The dataset is drawn from the annual statement data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, containing underwriting and financial information for all U.S. property insurers from the period studied, and supplemented with rate regulations and the incidence, by state, of natural catastrophes. They also reveal evidence to support the following hypotheses regarding insurers’ loss ratios, insurers’ losses, and insurers’ premiums." — Executive Summary
For fifteen months following Hurricane Katrina, The Center for Public Integrity highlighted the best coverage of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath and tracked government contracts awarded for cleanup and reconstruction. "The Katrina Watch project presents original reports by the Center for Public Integrity and an archive of links to information culled from media and government Web sites." -Center for Public Integrit, Katrina Watch
"In reviewing various proposals to cover risk relating to natural or man-made catastrophes, the report focused on approaches to deal with natural disasters: H.R. 4366, the Homeowners' Insurance Protection Act of 2005; H.R. 846, the Homeowners' Insurance Availability Act of 2005 (HIAA); and tax deductible reserves.
"In addition, the authors looked at both the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 (TRIA) and the extension of TRIA that was passed in 2005. That law, which provides a federal backstop for the commercial insurance industry in the event of a terrorist attack, will expire at the end of 2007 unless it is extended again.
"The study presents arguments advanced by advocates and critics of each of the proposals and assesses each in terms of potential effectiveness, analyzing the options but not endorsing any of the potential approaches." —Press release.
"The U.S. Congress established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with the passage of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968. The NFIP is a Federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance as a protection against flood losses in exchange for State and community floodplain management regulations that reduce future flood damages. Participation in the NFIP is based on an agreement between communities and the Federal Government. If a community adopts and enforces a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risk to new construction in floodplains, the Federal Government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood losses. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods."—NFIP Program Description.
"In the two years since Hurricane Katrina, the federal government has provided more than $114 billion in aid. But walk the streets of the Gulf Coast, and you might wonder where all that money has gone."
The legal publisher BNA makes its Web Watch available for free. This posting includes links to federal government hearings and panels, as well as NGO publications. Despite the title of the posting, many of the resources cover issues beyond contract fraud.
Dr. Robert Hartwig, president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, testified at a hearing before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Wednesday, February 28, 2007. The hearing focused on insurance issues affecting residents of the Gulf Coast as a result of damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Links to testimony transcript available in PDF and Word Formats.
Insurance Information Institute (III) website containing recent developments and general information on terrorism insurance issues. Includes papers on such topics as "9/11 and Insurance: The Five Year Anniversary"; "Terrorism, Insurance and the United States Government"; TRIA [Terrorism Risk Insurance Act]: Terrorism and Insurance"; "The Cost of Terrorism: How Much Can We Afford?"; "Long Shadow of September 11th"; and "September 11: One Hundred Minutes of Terror that Changed the Global Insurance Industry Forever."
+Louisiana State University Medical & Public Health Law Site, Levee Law
List of legal cases, particularly in Louisiana and Fifth Circuit, dealing with levees.
"Rather than trying to second-guess the collective wisdom of the private sector, this paper establishes five principles that should guide any catastrophic natural disaster insurance reform. Underpinning these principles is the belief that the private sector, state governments, and—as a last resort—the federal government could take many actions short of creating a CAT fund that would provide greater stability to the insurance market at a lower cost to most taxpayers." —Matt A. Mayer, et. al
"This report addresses the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) oversight of the Write-Your-Own companies’ performance in adjusting National Flood Insurance Program flood claims in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. We were directed in the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2007 to determine whether damages from wind were improperly attributed to flooding. We examined relevant documentation and interviewed FEMA and insurance officials to assess the flood insurance adjustment process. This report provides Congress and FEMA with our findings and conclusions." —Preface
"This mega-hurricane created important opportunities to assess the ways in which federal, state and local officials, business leaders and community leaders are prepared to respond to natural catastrophes every time an event occurs. The property casualty insurance industry was able to receive valuable takeaways from Katrina so that human and property losses may be reduced and insurance operations and disaster recovery efforts can be enhanced in the future.
This report addresses the insurance-related lessons learned from Katrina and improvements since the August 2005 crisis. Major lessons include the following:
Promote greater awareness of the importance of loss mitigation.
Minimize business disruptions and have a more flexible disaster recovery plan.
Use more advanced technologies to improve customer communications and service.
Educate the public on the need for flood insurance.
Continue developing and using more sophisticated catastrophe models."; — Lessons Learned: A Property Casualty Insurance Perspective
"The International Association for the Study of Insurance Economics, or by its short name "The Geneva Association", is a unique world organisation comprised of a maximum of 80 chief executive officers from the most important insurance companies in the world (Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa, and Australia). It is a non-profit organisation. Its main goal is to research the growing importance of worldwide insurance activities in all sectors of the economy. It tries to identify fundamental trends and strategic issues where insurance plays a substantial role or which influence the insurance sector. In parallel, it develops and encourages various initiatives concerning the evolution - in economic and cultural terms - of risk management and the notion of uncertainty in the modern economy." — The Geneva Association Introduction
"A federal judge in Mississippi rules that the Nationwide Mutual Insurance homeowners' policy purchased by a Gulf Coast couple before Hurricane Katrina excludes coverage for "water and water-borne" damages caused by "flood, surface water, waves, tial waves, overflow of a body of water, [and] spray from these, whether or not driven by wind." The court concluded that "[a]lmost all of the damage to the [plaintiffs'] residence is attributable to the incursion of water." The legal decision could affect thousands of similiar Nationwide Mutual Insurance policyholders affected by Hurricane Katrina."
"The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) HMA programs present a critical opportunity to reduce the risk to individuals and property from natural hazards while simultaneously reducing reliance on Federal disaster funds.
Together, these programs provide significant opportunities to reduce or eliminate potential losses to State, Tribal, and local assets through hazard mitigation planning and project grant funding. Each HMA program was authorized by separate legislative action, and as such, each program differs slightly in scope and intent." — Funding Opportunity Description
"NFIP is subject to periodic reauthorization and its current authorization has been extended until March 2009. As Congress considers reauthorization of NFIP and potential reforms to the program, we have been asked to provide a briefing on (1) the percentage and geographic distribution of policyholders that purchase the maximum NFIP coverage, (2) the availability of private commercial and residential flood insurance, (3) the potential effect of adding business interruption coverage to commercial flood insurance, particularly for small and medium-sized businesses, and (4) the challenges and issues surrounding the potential creation of an NFIP loss fund." —from introductory letter addressed to Representative Barney Frank
"GAO examined (1) the rationale for and resources of federal and state programs that provide natural catastrophe insurance; (2) the extent to which Americans living in catastrophe-prone areas of the United States are uninsured and underinsured, and the types and amounts of federal payments to such individuals since the 2005 hurricanes; and (3) public policy options for revising the federal role in natural catastrophe insurance markets. To address these questions, GAO analyzed state and federal programs, examined studies of uninsured and underinsured homeowners and federal payments to them, identified and analyzed policy options, and interviewed officials from private and public sectors in both high- and low-risk areas of the United States. GAO also developed a four-goal framework to help analyze the available options.
"This report examines seven public policy options for changing the federal government's role, including establishing an all-perils homeowner insurance policy, providing reinsurance for state catastrophe funds, and creating a mechanism to provide federal loans for state catastrophe funds."—Purpose of study.
"The mission of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center is to carry out a program of basic and applied research to promote effective policies and programs for low-probability events with potentially catastrophic consequences. The Center is especially concerned with natural and technological hazards and with the integration of industrial risk management policies with insurance. The Center is also concerned with promoting a dialogue among industry, government, interest groups and academics through its research and policy publications and through sponsored workshops, roundtables and forums."
"By request of the Department of Financial Services of the State of Florida, Risk Management Solutions (RMS) has conducted an impact analysis of the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program. The RMS® U.S. Hurricane Model was used to analyze the impact of the program on individual structures retrofitted with MSFH grant money. Unlike other studies that focus on the benefits to individual structures, this study explores the benefits on a statewide basis. The results of the study found that the MSFH program has reduced the statewide economic liability and the risk carried by the homeowners in Florida." — Executive Summary