Episode 3 – The Potential Role of Parametric Earthquake Insurance in Post-Disaster Recovery

The following episode features an interview with Kate Stillwell, founder of the parametric earthquake insurance company Jumpstart. The podcast explores what parametric earthquake insurance is and what role it could play in the recovery of households and communities after an earthquake.

Kate Stillwell is the founder of the parametric earthquake insurance company Jumpstart and President of Parametric Insurance at Neptune Flood Insurance. She has long been engaged in addressing disaster resilience, having begun her career as a structural engineer and earthquake risk consultant in California. She is also a co-founder of the US Resiliency Council, and a co-founder and acting CEO of Firebreak Risk, a consumer app for wildfire mitigation.


What is parametric earthquake insurance?

A type of insurance that will pay the policyholder a set amount when an earthquake meets the parameter spelled out in the policy. For example, the parameter might be the peak ground acceleration (PGA) at the insured property’s location, which is determined by the U.S. Geological Survey. The insurance payout depends on the event, not on the damage it causes, so there is no claims adjustment process.

What does MMI stand for?

Modified Mercalli Intensity: a scale for estimating the shaking intensity of an earthquake. Learn more from the U.S. Geological Survey. See also the descriptive examples on page 2 of this PDF from the Association of Bay Area Governments Resilience Program.

Learn more about parametric insurance:

Parametric Insurance for Disasters, a Wharton Risk Center Primer by Rohini Sengupta and Carolyn Kousky (September 2020).

A New Option for Disaster Insurance: Parametric (United Policyholders)

Parametric Disaster Insurance (National Association of Insurance Commissioners)

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