eCite Digital Repository

Underinsurance as Adaptation: Household agency in places of marketization and financialization


Booth, KI and Kendal, DJ, Underinsurance as Adaptation: Household agency in places of marketization and financialization, Environment and Planning A, 52, (4) pp. 728-746. ISSN 0308-518X (2020) [Refereed Article]

PDF (Post print)

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.1177/0308518X19879165


The underinsurance of property is pervasively and persuasively promoted as an indicator of risk and riskiness and, in western nations, is assumed to be aligned with socio-economic disadvantage. Yet, the solution - in its most simple form, buying more insurance - lacks critical interrogation of what the problem actually is. To better understand underinsurance, we map house and contents underinsurance across two municipalities and observe that the existing delineation of disadvantage and advantage between these two places is muted in relation to insurance - underinsurance does not straightforwardly map onto disadvantage. We provide an alternative explanation: that underinsurance is not a risk for households per se and does not represent riskiness on behalf of these households. Rather it is indicative of household agency that produces place-specified responses within the processes of financialization and marketization. We observe that the growth in renting, driven in part by housing financialization, is associated with property underinsurance. The history of renting as temporary and marginal informs renter decision-making to not insure, and thus, current financialized changes in housing co-produce rather than ameliorate underinsurance. We also conclude that in negating or resisting insurance marketization, households garner everyday financial and material adaptative capacity by underinsuring.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptation, financialization, insurance, marketization, housing, disadvantage, place, underinsurance
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Human geography
Research Field:Economic geography
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in built environment and design
UTAS Author:Booth, KI (Dr Kate Booth)
UTAS Author:Kendal, DJ (Dr Dave Kendal)
ID Code:134725
Year Published:2020 (online first 2019)
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP170100096)
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2019-08-30
Last Modified:2020-06-18
Downloads:31 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page