Insuring our uncertain future

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Insuring our uncertain future

By Knowable Magazine

In 2021, the massive Dixie Fire blazed across nearly a million acres in Northern California, torching more than 1,300 homes and other structures. Many people who lost their homes and businesses had no homeowner’s insurance, an increasingly common predicament in California and other fire-prone regions. Areas vulnerable to flooding find themselves with similar challenges, as we recently saw in Kentucky. The recurrence of catastrophic natural disasters is pricing out many at-risk markets from any meaningful coverage.

Still, some experts see this dilemma as an opportunity: Insurance can be a powerful tool to shape human behavior and the economy. Some even think that new forms of insurance, built on technological advances in data collection and machine learning, could be one of the most effective ways to protect the planet and make communities more resilient to climate change.

On Tuesday, September 27, at 9 a.m. Pacific/12 p.m. Eastern, join Annual Reviews, Knowable Magazine and Future Tense for a conversation that will change the way you think about insurance. And, if you can't join us live, please register for access to the on-demand playback delivered to your inbox.

Attendees will learn:
-Why disaster insurance is more important than ever for individuals and communities
-The risks that climate change poses to disaster insurance as it currently exists
-How new, reinvented forms of insurance could be a positive force for climate resilience and adaptation, helping us to not only recover from natural disasters, but prevent them.

Alice Hill, Council on Foreign Relations

Alice Hill is a senior fellow for climate change policy at the Council on Foreign Relations, where she focuses on the risks, consequences and responses associated with climate change. During President Obama’s administration, she led the development of national policy to prepare for catastrophic risks, including climate change. She has written two books: Building a Resilient Tomorrow and The Fight for Climate After COVID-19.

Carolyn Kousky, Environmental Defense Fund

Carolyn Kousky studies disaster insurance markets, disaster finance, climate risk management and policy approaches for increasing resilience. She recently became the associate vice president for economics and policy at the Environmental Defense Fund and previously directed the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also the author of the forthcoming book Understanding Disaster Insurance: New Tools for a More Resilient Future.

Emily Underwood, Knowable Magazine

Emily Underwood is the host and producer of virtual events at Knowable Magazine from Annual Reviews. She has been covering science for over a decade, including as a staff neuroscience reporter for Science. She has a bachelor’s degree in science and technology studies from Brown University and a master’s degree in science writing from Johns Hopkins University. In 2016-17, she was a Rosalynn Carter Fellow for Mental Health Journalism, and her reporting has won national awards, including a 2018 National Academies Keck Futures Initiatives Communication Award for magazine writing.

This event is part of an ongoing series of live events and science journalism from Knowable Magazine and Annual Reviews, a nonprofit publisher dedicated to synthesizing and integrating knowledge for the progress of science and the benefit of society.

Future Tense is a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University that examines emerging technologies, public policy, and society.

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