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Risk Analysis and Risk Management in an Uncertain World Howard Kunreuther Risk Management and Decision Processes Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Risk Analysis and Risk Management in an Uncertain World Howard Kunreuther Risk Management and Decision Processes Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Risk Analysis and Risk Management in an Uncertain World Howard Kunreuther ( Risk Management and Decision Processes Center The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania SAMSI Workshop Duke University Sept. 16, 2007 Radisson Hotel RTP, Research Triangle Park, NC

2 Outline of Talk Conceptual Framework Risk Assessment Risk Perception Risk Management Application to Catastrophic Risks Natural Disasters Role of Insurance and Mitigation Measures 2

3 A Conceptual Framework for Studying Risk Statistical Data Building Scenarios Risk Perception and Choice Public Perceptions Expert/Layperson Differences Risk Communication Risk Assessment & Vulnerability Analysis Modeling of Risks Risk Management Strategies Public Private Partnerships 3

4 A Conceptual Framework for Studying Risk Risk Management Strategies: Public Private Partnerships Information Provision Incentives Regulation Standards Compensation Insurance Liability Evaluation of Strategies Impact on Society Impact on Interested Parties 4

5 Questions to Be Addressed for Undertaking Risk Analyses of Health, Safety and Environmental Issues? How can one link the tools of risk assessment and our knowledge of risk perception to develop risk management options that are likely to be successful and implemented? What is the changing role of the public and private sectors in dealing with these risks? How can we utilize lessons from dealing with past events in helping to plan for the future? 5

6 Risk Assessment & Vulnerability Analysis Risk Assessment –Encompasses estimates of both the chances of a specific set of events occurring and their potential consequences –Experts differ in their estimates of the risk –Find your favorite expert to support your position Vulnerability Analysis –Characterize forms of physical, social, political, economic, cultural, and psychological harms to which individuals and modern societies are susceptible –Millions of dollars have already been spent to reduce our vulnerability Constructing Scenarios –What are the probabilities of specific events? –What are the potential consequences? 6

7 Using Exceedance Probability (EP) Curves to Depict Risk 7

8 Risk Assessment Questions to Ponder What are the chances that New Orleans will have a Category 3 or higher hurricane in the next 10 years and what will be the resulting damage and indirect losses? What is the likelihood of a severe nuclear power accident somewhere in the United States and what would be the resulting impacts? What are the chances that an airplane will crash into the Sears Tower in the next year and how serious would the consequences be? What are the chances that there will be a smallpox epidemic in the United States in the next five years and how many people would be affected? 8

9 Risk Assessment and Vulnerability Analysis Open Issues and Questions How accurately can experts estimate the likelihood and consequences of disasters of hurricanes of different magnitudes and intensities? Can one characterize the types of uncertainties that currently exist in assessing risk, and suggest ways to improve these estimates in the future? What are the expected costs and benefits of undertaking specific risk-reducing measures in hurricane-prone areas, and can one rank them on the basis of cost effectiveness? What are the interdependencies in the system (e.g. infrastructure damage affecting supply of electricity, water, telephone/telecommunications, and other services to residences and businesses)? How do these interdependencies affect the direct and indirect losses that would result from a future natural disaster? 9

10 Risk Perception and Choice Basic Concepts Focuses on psychological and emotional factors that have been shown to have an enormous impact on behavior. Hazards where individuals have little knowledge and experience are highly dreaded and perceived as being very risky Disparity between experts and laypersons (e.g. nuclear power, storing radioactive waste) Ignoring publics perception of risk by scientific community if it differed significantly from their own estimates Individuals exhibit systematic biases in processing information and making choices Estimating likelihood of event is influenced by salience It cannot happen to me bias before a disaster It will happen to me bias after a disaster Framing of information may influence choice Individuals have difficulties learning due to biases and information processing limitations 10

11 Stigmatization and Social Amplification of Risk The Alar Case A bag of Alar plant growth regulant surrounded by Red Delicious apples 11

12 Stigmatization and Social Amplification of Risk The Alar Case No scientific evidence that Alar was carcinogenic Were based upon animal studies that were considered suspect because the doses used had been so large as to have been acutely toxic. No evidence from epidemiological studies showing Alar to be a human carcinogen. The reaction by the public to Alar illustrates social amplification of risk. Media amplified the risk and effectively stigmatized the product. Millions of consumers stopped buying apples and apple products after CBS news story on 60 Minutes stated Alar could cause cancer. Convincing my wife that children from birth to 3 could drink apple juice with Alar 12

13 Risk Perception: People Dont Think Probabilistically It will happen to me or it will not happen to me Other factors influence protective decisions---worry; peace of mind Affect and emotion play a key role in decision-making Availability bias: likelihood of an event is estimated by the ease with which a person can visualize it. 13

14 Explain this behavior: I bought my first set of battery cables only after my car wouldnt start and it had to be towed. The towing charge was twice as much as the cost of the battery cables. Most homeowners in California purchase earthquake insurance only after they experienced a quake. When asked whether the probability of a future event was more likely than before the disaster most people responded, Less likely. Until seat belt laws were instituted in the United States, most drivers refused to wear them. When asked why they did not, a typical response was, I wont have an accident. This response is consistent with the well-document finding that 90% percent of all drivers feel they are better than the average driver. 14

15 Risk Perception and Choice Open Issues and Questions What role do perceived likelihoods and resulting consequences play in how people view a particular risk that they may face, such as a severe hurricane? How important are emotional factors such as fear, dread and anxiety in how people perceive these risks and learn over time? What role do social networks and social norms play in influencing risk perception, choice and learning with respect to low probability events? How can one best communicate information to those at risk from natural disasters so they are aware of what actions they can take prior to and after a disaster? What is the role of past experience and the media in influencing risk perception and choice? 15

16 Risk Management Strategies: Basic Concepts Policy options for reducing losses and aiding recovery process –Economic incentives –Insurance –Well-enforced regulations and standards (e.g. building codes) –Disaster assistance Relevant roles of public and private sectors in implementing hazard management strategy Criteria for evaluating alternative strategies –Efficiency---allocating resources to maximize social welfare –Equity---concern with fairness and distribution of resources 16

17 Risk Management Strategies Using Economic Incentives Premiums reductions on insurance policies for those who undertake loss reduction measures. Overcoming myopia---long-term loans on property coupled with insurance premium reductions Risk Communication (Framing Information Makes a Difference) People are more willing to wear seatbelts if they are told they have a.33 chance of an accident over a 50-year lifetime of driving rather than a.00001 chance each trip. People are more willing to buy insurance if they are told that there is a 1 in 5 chance of a 100 year flood occurring in the next 25 years than a 1 in 100 chance of it occurring next year. 17

18 Risk Management Strategies Present probabilities using concrete comparisons: Risk of an automobile accident People need to see these decisions in the contexts of risks that they understand. Public Sector Involvement Well-enforced standards (e.g. building codes) Federal reinsurance protection Disaster assistance 18

19 Risk Management Strategies Open Issues and Questions What type of economic incentives would encourage property owners to mitigate the risks of a disaster and purchase insurance prior to a disaster? How does the prospect of federal aid to victims of a disaster affect protective decisions by individuals prior to a disaster? What are the appropriate roles of standards and regulations in reducing losses from large scale disasters and the impact of the event following the disaster? What types of financial backstops should be provided by the public sector at the state and federal levels for dealing with catastrophic losses following future disasters? How can one link different policy tools such as information provision, economic incentives, insurance, third party inspections, regulations and standards to achieve the desired objectives of a hazard management strategy? 19

20 Katrina – As of Sunday, August 28, 2005 20

21 Katrinas Path 21

22 Nature of the Problem A radical change in the scale and rhythm of catastrophes Natural disasters have caused severe insured losses in recent years –Hurricane Katrina: $40-$55 billion –Hurricane Andrew: $22 billion (2005 dollars) Victims complain about receiving substantially less than the actual costs to repair or rebuild their damaged structures from Katrina Federal government is committed to providing liberal disaster assistance to aid the victims of Katrina and rebuild the Gulf Coast 22

23 Who are the Interested Parties? Insurers provide coverage against damage from disasters and can offer financial incentives to encourage investment in mitigation measures Reinsurers and capital markets provide coverage against some of the losses from large- scale disasters Residents and businesses located in hazard-prone areas subject to large-scale losses from natural disasters. Federal government (including the President and Congress) provides disaster assistance and operates the National Flood Insurance Program State governments (including Governors) regulate insurance rates, create State funds and/or insurers (e.g. Citizens) are in charge of developing and enforcing building codes and some land use policies Local governments (county, city level), are responsible for issuing building permits and other activities related to regional development Mortgage lenders and related financial institutions can create financial incentives for homeowners and businesses to invest in mitigation measures and to purchase and maintain appropriate insurance coverage. 23

24 Worldwide Evolution of Catastrophe Insured Losses, 1970-2005 (Property and business interruption (BI); in U.S.$ billon indexed to 2005) Sources: data from Swiss Re and Insurance Information Institute 24

25 The 20 Most Costly Catastrophe Insurance Losses, 1970-2005 (18 of them occurred between 1990 and 2005; 10 of them occurred in the last 5 years) Sources: Wharton Risk Center with data from Swiss Re, Insurance Information Institute and press releases Rank U.S.$ billion (indexed to 2005) Event Victims (Dead or missing) Year Area of primary damage 145Hurricane Katrina1,3262005USA, Gulf of Mexico et al 2359/11 Attacks3,0252001USA 322.3Hurricane Andrew431992USA, Bahamas 418.5Northridge Quake611994USA 511.7Hurricane Ivan1242004USA, Caribbean et al 610.3Hurricane Wilma352005USA, Gulf of Mexico et al 78.3Hurricane Charley242004USA, Caribbean et all 88.1Typhoon Mireille511991Japan 96.9Winterstorm Daria951990France, UK et al 106.8Winterstorm Lothar1101999France, Switzerland et al 116.6Hurricane Hugo711989Puerto Rico, USA et al 125.2Hurricane Frances382004USA, Bahamas 135.2Storms and floods221987France, UK et al 145.0Hurricane Rita342005USA, Gulf of Mexico et al 154.8Winterstorm Vivian641990Western/Central Europe 164.7Typhoon Bart261999Japan 174.2Hurricane Georges6001998USA, Caribbean 184.1Hurricane Jeanne3,0342004USA, Caribbean et al 193.7Typhon Songda452004Japan, South Korea 203.5Tropical Storm Alison412001USA 25

26 Whats Happening? The Question of Attribution Higher degree of urbanization Huge increase in the value at risk Population of Florida - 2.8 million inhabitants in 1950 - 6.8 million in 1970 - 13 million in 1990 - 19.3 million population in 2010 (590% increase since 1950) (U.S. Bureau of the Census) - A direct hit on Miami by Hurricane Andrew that would have cost $60bn in 1992 and $120bn in damage in 2004 because the market value has doubled and is still increasing Weather patterns - Among the top 19 natural disasters that occurred in the past 35 years, more than 80% were weather-related events - Changes in climate conditions and/or return to a high hurricane cycle? Direct consequences - More intense weather-related events coupled with increased value at risk cost more, much more What will 2007 Bring? 26

27 Insured Coastal Exposure as a % of Statewide Insured Exposure in 2004 Source: AIR Worldwide 27

28 Total Value of Insured Coastal Exposure in 2004 (in $billion) Source: AIR Worldwide 28

29 What is at Stake and Goals of Study What is at stake? –Affordability of living in risky areas –Who ultimately bears the costs and receives the benefits of such decisions Develop a strategy document to help inform the current policy debate –Role that the private and public sectors can play in reducing future disaster losses –Financing the recovery process through insurance and other means. 29

30 Two Principles Guiding Study Principle 1: Risk-based Premiums Insurance premiums should be based on risk to provide signals to individuals as to the hazards they face and to encourage them to engage in cost-effective mitigation measures to reduce their vulnerability to catastrophes. Principle 2: Dealing with Equity and Affordability Issues Any special treatment given to lower income residents in hazard-prone areas who cannot afford the cost of living in those locations should come from general public funding and not through insurance premium subsidies. 30

31 Phase II of Project: 2007 Examine and evaluate alternative programs for providing protection against financial losses and reducing risks from natural catastrophes Program 1: Maintaining Status Quo Program 2: Involvement of the Public Sector Program 3: Free Market Develop a set of case studies based on different states or metropolitan areas/regions to examine how well alternative insurance programs perform in encouraging mitigation and providing funds for recovery. Florida New York South Carolina Texas 31

32 Summary The Facts: Totally new era of large-scale risks; huge and still growing concentration of value in high risk areas; indication of more devastating disasters in the future The Reality: Major issues at stake for insurance and mitigation programs that require us to link risk assessment with risk perception and risk management Research and policy questions: What are the options for risk sharing among different interested parties following catastrophes? What economic incentives can encourage investment in mitigation? 32

33 Questions for Discussion Should all property owners be required to have protection against catastrophic losses? –Mandatory insurance coverage –Tax on all property based on actuarial risk What role should regulation play? –Challenges in states permitting risk-based insurance rates –Reexamination of accounting standards for capital market instruments What are the liability issues? –Paying for water damage even though homeowners insurance doesnt cover it –Lawsuits filed in Mississippi and Louisiana following Katrina claiming that homeowners policies should provide protection against water damage What type of special treatment should be given lower income families residing in hazard-prone areas? –Types of subsidies that should be given to this group –Determining proportion of homes eligible for special treatment 33

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