Improving U.S. Transportation Infrastructure Resilience through Insurance and Incentives

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Transportation systems are vital to the U.S. economy and way of life, and major disruptions to transportation networks associated with natural hazards, man-made hazards, accidents, or infrastructure failure can cause significant social and economic impacts.  Risk management tools, including insurance and mitigation measures, can reduce the impacts and recovery times associated with disruptions, but are lacking in many transportation systems.  Through literature review and interviews with insurers and infrastructure managers, this study identifies barriers and opportunities to improving infrastructure resilience and develops recommendations for financial, insurance, and policy measures to facilitate improvements in transportation infrastructure resilience.  Key themes identified include the need for better data and metrics to support resilience, issues surrounding emerging risks, reliance on federal disaster funding, benefits of linking risk engineering and insurance, and insurance as a tool for resilience financing.


Dr. Jeffrey Czajkowski serves as the Managing Director for the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania. During his tenure with the Risk Center since 2011 he has served as the Willis Research Network and Travelers Fellow conducting research on various economic and risk-related issues of natural hazards, as well as environmental economics. His research has been published in leading risk management, insurance, natural hazards, and environmental economics journals.  He has also presented his work at over 60 various conferences, workshops, invited seminars, and webinars that have included academic, insurance industry, and policy-oriented audiences.

Prior to his position at the Risk Center, Dr. Czajkowski was an assistant professor of economics at Austin College and an adjunct assistant research professor at the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) at Florida International University (FIU). He holds a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University, an M.S. in environmental and urban systems from Florida International University, and a Ph.D. in economics from Florida International University. Preceding graduate school, he worked in New York City as a research associate for Coopers & Lybrand Consulting and was a vice-president for JP Morgan.

Dr. Gina Tonn is a postdoctoral fellow at the Risk Center. Her research interests include risk analysis and management for natural hazards, resilient infrastructure systems, sustainable water resources management, and climate change adaptation. Her interdisciplinary research involves the application of systems analysis methods in conjunction with water resources and environmental engineering methods to improve the understanding and management of risks associated with natural hazards in a changing climate. Gina’s professional experience in environmental and water resources engineering includes floodplain modeling, mapping, and management, stormwater design, and cost-benefit analysis. Gina received her Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University where she was an IGERT Water, Climate, and Health trainee. She earned a B.S. in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech with a concentration in Land and Water Resources Engineering and an M.S. in Management of Technology from Vanderbilt University.

At the Risk Center, Gina is currently working on a project to identify barriers and opportunities for improving the resilience of infrastructure systems through insurance, financial, and policy mechanisms. She is also working on analysis of flood insurance claims data to improve the understanding of how flood damages and insurance claims vary based on storm and geographic characteristics.

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