Insurance for Adaptation (InsAdapt)

As losses and damages from natural catastrophes are increasing, the traditional objectives for risk-transfer mechanisms are being reconsidered across the globe. The most important new claim is for insurance systems to further adaptive behavior and risk reduction.



InsAdapt is a three-year research project funded by the Austrian Climate Research Program and aims to investigate the link between risk-transfer instruments (especially insurance) and the promotion of climate adaptation in general and risk mitigation in particular.

Adaptation to climate change has emerged on the climate change agenda alongside mitigation as an essential part of the response to increasing weather extremes and other climate change impacts. In the course of 2012 natural catastrophes caused USD 178 billion economic losses and insurance companies covered almost 40% of those (USD 71 billion)[1]. Besides their traditional role, risk-transfer instruments, and especially insurance, have been proposed as measures to advance adaptation to climate change; yet, there is little empirical evidence on their effectiveness for incentivizing and necessitating the reduction of losses from extreme weather events and other impacts. Our research will build an evidence base on this link by examining experience at the (1) entrepreneurial scale (scrutinizing insurer practices), (2) national scale (examining European public-private insurance systems and institutional arrangements with regard to their contribution to risk reduction, efficiency, capacity and fairness), and (3) European Union scale (documenting the performance of the European Union Solidarity Fund).

Risk and Resilience is the main beneficiary and lead partner for all four work packages of this project, and makes use of the interdisciplinary skills available in the program by combining catastrophe risk modeling with quantitative and qualitative decision analysis methods. InsAdapt is closely related to other ongoing projects such as Enhance and the Flood Resilience Project.

[1] Swiss Re, 2013. Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2012: A year of extreme weather events in the US, Zürich. Available at: Natural catastrophes and man-made disasters in 2012:

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Last edited: 07 March 2022


Susanne Hanger-Kopp

Research Scholar Equity and Justice Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program


February 2013 - January 2016

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313