Promoting flood risk reduction

  • Improving society's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding requires integrated, anticipatory flood risk management (FRM). However, most countries still focus their efforts on responding to flooding events if and when they occur rather than addressing their current and future vulnerability to flooding. Flood insurance is one mechanism that could promote a more ex ante approach to risk by supporting risk reduction activities. This paper uses an adapted version of Easton's System Theory to investigate the role of insurance for FRM in Germany and England. We introduce an anticipatory FRM framework, which allows flood insurance to be considered as part of a broader policy field. We analyze if and how flood insurance can catalyze a change toward a more anticipatory approach to FRM. In particular we consider insurance's role in influencing five key components of anticipatory FRM: risk knowledge, prevention through better planning, property‐level protection measures, structural protection and preparedness (forImproving society's ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from flooding requires integrated, anticipatory flood risk management (FRM). However, most countries still focus their efforts on responding to flooding events if and when they occur rather than addressing their current and future vulnerability to flooding. Flood insurance is one mechanism that could promote a more ex ante approach to risk by supporting risk reduction activities. This paper uses an adapted version of Easton's System Theory to investigate the role of insurance for FRM in Germany and England. We introduce an anticipatory FRM framework, which allows flood insurance to be considered as part of a broader policy field. We analyze if and how flood insurance can catalyze a change toward a more anticipatory approach to FRM. In particular we consider insurance's role in influencing five key components of anticipatory FRM: risk knowledge, prevention through better planning, property‐level protection measures, structural protection and preparedness (for response). We find that in both countries FRM is still a reactive, event‐driven process, while anticipatory FRM remains underdeveloped. Collaboration between insurers and FRM decision‐makers has already been successful, for example in improving risk knowledge and awareness, while in other areas insurance acts as a disincentive for more risk reduction action. In both countries there is evidence that insurance can play a significant role in encouraging anticipatory FRM, but this remains underutilized. Effective collaboration between insurers and government should not be seen as a cost, but as an investment to secure future insurability through flood resilience.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:Swenja SurminskiORCiDGND, Annegret Henriette ThiekenORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/2017EF000587
ISSN:2328-4277
Title of parent work (English):Earth's Future
Subtitle (English):the role of insurance in Germany and England
Publisher:Wiley
Place of publishing:Hoboken
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2017/08/21
Completion year:2017
Release date:2021/10/13
Tag:flooding; governance; insurance; risk reduction
Volume:5
Number of pages:23
First page:979
Last Page:1001
Funding institution:EU Seventh Framework Programme, through the project ENHANCE (Enhancing risk management partnerships for catastrophic natural hazards in Europe) [308438]; German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) [13N13017]; UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Geowissenschaften
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer review:Referiert
Publishing method:Open Access / Gold Open-Access
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License (German):License LogoCC BY - Namensnennung, 4.0 International