When disaster strikes...

11th Nov 2017

When disaster strikes: Under-insurance in Australian households

A new paper by Kate Booth and Bruce Tranter is now available online


In undertaking what we believe is the first national-scale study of its kind, we provide methodologically transparent, statistically robust insights into associations and potential unfolding effects of house and contents under-insurance. We identify new dimensions in the complex relationship between householders and insurance, including the salience of interpersonal – and likely institutional – trust. Under-insurance is (re)produced along socio-economic and geographical lines, with those of lower socio-economic status or living in cities more likely to be under-insured. Should a disaster strike, such communities are likely to suffer further disadvantage, especially if governments continue to shift the responsibility for risk onto households. Our findings support the observation that insurance can contribute to increasing socio-economic urban polarisation in light of natural disasters. We conclude by considering how under-insurance may contribute to growing urban social stratification, as well as how it may produce situated ethical and political responses that exceed neoliberal aspirations.

You can access and read the paper here

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