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Disaster Recovery Case Study: Hurricane Katrina

This case study seeks to understand and quantify the key controls on the speed and quality of disaster recovery, including the role of insurance. The Centre's most recent case studies of Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy show a surprising slow and laboured recovery resulting from insufficient financial and physical resilience. 

Overview

This case study's findings include the fact that the Hurricane Katrina disaster revealed several issues with the management of catastrophes in the US. While, the US could benefit from a larger share of insured losses through higher insurance penetration, there are larger policy issues that need to first be addressed. 

Inadequate risk differentiation of hazard zones, mispricing of risks in coastal areas, lack of enforcement in the purchase of mandatory insurance and lack of incentives for improving insurance uptake are some of the fundamental problems facing the US that warrant attention.  

Authors

  • Dr Andrew Coburn, Director of Advisory Board, Centre for Risk Studies
  • Dr Michelle Tuveson, Academic Director, Centre for Risk Studies 
  • Oliver Carpenter, Research Assistant, Centre for Risk Studies
  • Arjun Mahalingam, Research Assistant, Centre for Risk Studies