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Insurance, and the prospects of insurability


Booth, K, Insurance, and the prospects of insurability, Routledge Handbook of Financial Geography, Routledge, D Wojcik and J Knox-Hayes (ed), London, UK (In Press) [Research Book Chapter]


Insurance is commonly assumed to be a benign financial tool in the distribution and management of risk, premised on a singular and universal logic. Geographers, amongst others, have been instrumental in unpacking the insurantial ‘black-box’ created by such assumptions, providing differentiated explanations for the form and function of insurance and exploring associated temporal and spatial variegations of affect, morality and politics. In this chapter, I review three broad categories of insurance research – self, property and climate – and cover themes of insurer sustainability, the uneven distribution of power between insurers and publics, and the fallacy of insurance-enabled equity, freedom and security. A focus on insurability draws attention to its excesses – both how insurability necessitates and is necessitated by non-insurability and how insurability is manifest through distributed agencies and not simply through insurer ontologies and epistemologies. I propose a Rancièrian imaginary for understanding associated schisms, limitations and contradictions in insurance logics; that these signify the possibility of ‘politics proper’ in financializing societies where insurance can appear so normalized as to be a natural given. Climate discourses and practices are constituting novel insurantial orderings and emerging spatial variegations draw attention to the prospects of insurability – that these lie with ‘places within climates’ and not, per se, with how insurers respond and adapt to climate uncertainty.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:insurance, insurability, post politics, uncertainty, risk
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Economic geography
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Other culture and society
Objective Field:Other culture and society not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Booth, K (Dr Kate Booth)
ID Code:133915
Year Published:In Press
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2019-07-16
Last Modified:2019-07-16

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