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Insuring Large-Scale Floods in the Netherlands

Author

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  • Ruben Jongejan

    () (Hydraulic Engineering, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628CN Delft, P.O.Box 5048, 2600GA The Netherlands.)

  • Pauline Barrieu

    () (Department of Statistics, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom.)

Abstract

Without its primary flood defenses, a large part of the Netherlands would be swallowed by rivers and the sea. Floods caused by the failure of primary flood defenses are high-impact, low-probability events that are notoriously difficult to insure. Private insurance was long considered unfeasible but the Dutch government is currently studying ways to introduce a public–private insurance program. This paper offers a discussion of variables that should be taken into account in the choice for an arrangement for the financing of large-scale floods in the Netherlands. Because flood risk is highly concentrated and potential losses could be severe, a strong government role seems inevitable. But this would not necessarily be inappropriate as this could reduce the risk of underinvestment in flood protection. The Geneva Papers (2008) 33, 250–268. doi:10.1057/gpp.2008.10

Suggested Citation

  • Ruben Jongejan & Pauline Barrieu, 2008. "Insuring Large-Scale Floods in the Netherlands," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 33(2), pages 250-268, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:gpprii:v:33:y:2008:i:2:p:250-268
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    Cited by:

    1. Botzen, W.J.W. & van den Bergh, J.C.J.M., 2012. "Risk attitudes to low-probability climate change risks: WTP for flood insurance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 151-166.

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