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When disaster strikes: Under-insurance in Australian households


Booth, K and Tranter, B, When disaster strikes: Under-insurance in Australian households, Institute of Australian Geographers Conference 2017, 11-14 July 2017, Brisbane, Australia (2017) [Conference Extract]

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Populations and wealth are rising in disaster-prone areas, and the role of insurance and insurers is changing. The prioritisation of insurance as the disaster management tool of choice that shifts responsibility (and blame) onto households and businesses is rhetorically persuasive to some, and politically abhorrent to others. Yet such a move invariably manifests spaces and actors that may re-configure, counter or disrupt local ethics and politics. Presenting early findings from what we believe is the first national-scale study of its kind, we identify new dimensions in the complex relationship between householders, natural disasters, and house and contents insurance. We offer new insights into the phenomenon of under-insurance, providing support for the idea that insurance and insurers are contributing to increasing socio-economic polarisation in disaster-prone areas. We also explore our finding of a relationship between trust and insurance uptake, observing that these patterns may well indicate localised responses to the impacts of disasters and the limitations of insurance. Associations with trust, combined with the socially and spatially variegated nature of under-insurance that we report not only have the capacity to entrench urban socio-economic polarisation, these patterns also indicate the likelihood of situated ethical and political responses to this phenomenon that exceed neoliberal aspirations.

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:insurance, place, disaster, urban, trust
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Social geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Booth, K (Dr Kate Booth)
UTAS Author:Tranter, B (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:118647
Year Published:2017
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP170100096)
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2017-07-17
Last Modified:2017-07-17

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