The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. With nearly 300 released each year, working papers cover a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Eduardo Cavallo, Eduardo Borensztein, and Patricio Valenzuela
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND
Natural disasters are an important source of vulnerability in the Caribbean region. Despite being one of the more disaster-prone areas of the world, it has one of the lowest levels of insurance coverage. This paper examines the vulnerability of Belize's public finance to the occurrence of hurricanes and the potential impact of insurance instruments in reducing that vulnerability. The paper finds that catastrophic risk insurance significantly improves Belize's debt sustainability. In addition, the methodology employed makes it possible to estimate the appropriate level of insurance, which for the case of Belize is a maximum coverage of US$120 million per year.