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Following the devastating hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, there were indications of dramatic changes in the market for commercial property insurance in the Gulf States, including skyrocketing insurance prices and difficulty finding adequate coverage. These changes had and continue to have crucial ramifications for the region’s economic recovery and ongoing economic vitality, which is why it is essential that the insurance system for commercial wind risk be assessed to see how it performed following Hurricane Katrina and to determine whether government programs and regulations related to wind risk insurance need to be changed. The authors provide an overview of the 2005 hurricane season’s impact on the commercial property insurance market in the Gulf States and the outlook for the future. They also propose three basic goals for a wind risk insurance system and examine some of the challenges involved in achieving these goals. Additionally, they recommend that the debate over any needed changes to government programs and policies include all stakeholders and be informed by further research and analysis in specific areas.

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The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of the RAND Gulf States Policy Institute by the RAND Institute for Civil Justice.

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