An ARISE-U.S. Symposium

Insurance Innovations for Disaster Risk Reduction


Background and Problem Statement

One recurring theme in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is the potential role of the insurance industry in mitigating as well as responding to risk. The debate is sometimes polarized.   One side laments that insurers haven’t done enough to re-examine their role and, therefore, haven’t “stepped up” with products that include preventative and/or multi-hazard protections, or with new partnerships that enable an integrated approach to providing preventative, as well as recovery coverage. Insurers themselves point out that regulation (for example, the Stafford Act, which explicitly only funds insurance for hazards already experienced), competing mitigation standards, the lack of broadly agreed preventative metrics, market readiness, and related factors discourage or block innovations they would otherwise like to implement.

Both sides may be right. The symposium will therefore examine the innovation issue, with specific reference to:

  • Mitigation and adaptation. We will address how the insurance industry’s role in these areas is changing and how it will change in the future. What is the optimal role, what are the barriers; what policy changes and data would be needed, and what standards would be applied?

  • Parametric insurance. This is a bit like Bigfoot – often rumored but seldom seen. However, it would in theory provide tools to support mitigation, in addition to having a role in business continuity and other aspects of disaster recovery. Yet it appears to be available in some parts of the world, and for some issues, but not others. Why is that? What will it take to make it work – what data and models, what regulation and policy changes, and what else? What changes in industry, public, and government buying behaviors are needed?

Replay the Symposium

Date Recorded: Wednesday, December 7, 2022



 Download slides from the Symposium 


Keynote & Symposium Panels

The symposium will kick off with a Keynote Address by Eduardo Reynoso, National Autonomous University of Mexico. This will be followed by two moderated one-hour panels: one considering the “problem”; followed by one considering “potential solutions.” Both will be structured to encourage debate and audience questions. Registrants may submit their questions in advance (on their registration form).




Eduardo Reynoso

National Autonomous, University of Mexico


DRR "Problem" Panel



Ryan Bank

Global Managing Director, Geospatial Insurance Consortium



Andy Neal

Chief Actuary, FEMA's Flood Insurance division



John Siegman

Senior Manager, Operations, Guidewire Software and Founder of HazardHub




Carmen Steinmann

Doctoral student at the Weather and Climate Risks Group (ETH Zurich)



Karen MacClune

Executive Director, ISET-International



DRR "Solutions" Panel



Jonathan Charak

Emerging Solutions Director, Zurich Insurance NA



Bobby Fishkin

Founder, Crowddoing



Joel Laucher

United Policy Holders




Axel Victorio

Senior Business Developer Parametric Insurance AXA Seguros México




Brent Woodworth

LA Emergency Preparedness Foundation





ARISE is UNDRR’s vehicle for encouraging public-private collaboration in disaster risk reduction. Find out more at: ARISE-U.S. is the U.S. network of ARISE. To join ARISE-U.S. (membership is free), contact Peter Williams, at, or Debbra Johnson at

Thanks to the Geospatial Insurance Consortium (GIC) and Vexcel for the provision of this web page and audio visual services for the symposium.