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A high-yield debt security backed by insurance premiums. Insurance companies issue catastrophe bonds in order to raise funds for hypothetical insurance payouts resulting from one or more stated events such as floods or fires. The bondholder receives coupons from what the insurance company collects in premiums. However, if the insurance company suffers a loss from a payout of one of stated events, the obligation to repay the bond is either relaxed or forgiven. The main advantage to a catastrophe bond, despite the stated risk, is the fact that it offers a high yield without much regard for the performance of the broader economy because people and institutions will almost always set money aside for insurance premiums.
A debt security with a payoff tied to the relative severity of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or earthquake. Bondholders are paid with insurance premiums but may have to accept reduced principal repayment in the event the specified disaster occurs during the life of the bond.