Natural hazard insurance in Europe: Tailored responses to climate change are needed

Reimund Schwarze, Manijeh Schwindt, Hannelore Weck-Hannemann, Paul Raschky, Ferdinand Zahn, Gert Wagner

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54 Citations (Scopus)


This paper provides an overview of the existing systems of natural hazard insurance in Europe, their structural characteristics and peculiarities. It also 0discusses the difficulties of adaptation of these systems to climate change and the growing number of natural disasters. Using Germany, Austria and Switzerland as examples, the paper demonstrates that based on the status quo, the Swiss monopoly insurance system, which is embedded within a unique direct voting environment, is most able to reduce micro- and macroeconomic disruptions resulting from natural hazards. Change in diversity is seen to offer the best chance to arrive at insurance systems that are prepared for climate change while being adapted to local particularities. Efforts to harmonize national and regional systems as well as top-down EU initiatives are argued to be inadequate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14 - 30
Number of pages17
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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