Public-Private Partnerships in Dealing with Extreme Events: Improving Insurance Decision-Making in a Misunderstood Industry

Thursday 12 November 2015 6.00 - 7.50pm

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Sydney Law School, The University of Sydney


Enhancing insurance-related decisions during extreme environmental events

2015 ACCEL Distinguished Speaker Lecture

Presented by Professor Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor; Professor of Decision Sciences and Public Policy; Co-Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

This lecture characterises the challenges that consumers, insurers and the government face in dealing with insurance for low-probability high-consequence events. Given their limited experience with catastrophes, there is a tendency for all three stakeholders to engage in short-term intuitive thinking rather than long-term deliberative thinking when making insurance-related decisions. Public-private partnerships can encourage investment in protective measures prior to a disaster, deal with affordability problems and provide coverage for catastrophic risks. Insurance premiums based on risk provide signals to residents and business as to the hazards they face and enable insurers to lower premiums for properties where steps have been taken to reduce their risk. Professor Kunreuther will also discuss the role that insurance can play in addressing the climate change problem and propose a public-private partnership for dealing with the flood risk that could be applied to other extreme events in Australia and the United States.

This lecture is presented by the Australian Centre for Climate and Environmental Law (ACCEL), the Sydney Environment Institute and Sydney Ideas.

Book Release

Please click here for details on Professor Kunreuther’s recent title Insurance and Behavioral Economics: Improving Decisions in the Most Misunderstood Industry

Lawyers/barristers: attendance at this lecture is equal to 1.5 MCLE/CPD unit.