This paper reviews the empirical evidence relating to when and how insurance can contribute to disaster and climate risk management. Aspects explored include the contribution of insurance to, or even creating the macro-conditions for, resilience to disasters in terms of public finance, economic growth and good governance; the contribution of insurance to risk prevention, preparedness, response and recovery; and the factors that influence the provision of insurance by companies and governments, and uptake of insurance by governments and households. Findings and conclusions from the empirical review are provided.