How Crime Shapes Insurance and Insurance Shapes Crime

Anja Shortland, Tom Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Crime creates demand for insurance but supplying insurance may promote crime. We examine five case studies of insured crimes (auto theft, art theft, kidnap and hijack for ransom, ransomware, and payment card fraud) and find a co-evolutionary process through which insurers engage with insureds, governments, and legal and extralegal third parties to mitigate losses, particularly when criminal innovations destabilize the insurance market. “Insurance as crime governance” stimulates demand for security, shapes criminal incentives, engages with the state to combat crime, and tolerates some crime in the interest of profitability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Legal Analysis
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • insurance
  • crime
  • Governance


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