IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sharing the burden of increasing flood risk: who pays for flood insurance and flood risk management in the United Kingdom


  • Edmund Penning-Rowsell


  • Sally Priest



Many countries are exploring alternative strategies to counter rising flood risk as there is concern at the extra burden that such increasing risk will bring. The aim of this paper is to explore the nature of these burdens and outline responses in the United Kingdom (UK) where both the government and the private flood insurers have new policies and proposals. Our method is to collate the extensive existing authoritative data and information—from government and the insurance industry—about the risks that are being experienced and the related policy responses. The results show that these seek to concentrate somewhat more the financial burden of, respectively, flood risk management costs and insurance provisions on to those who are at risk and away from the general taxpayer and those who pay insurance premiums. Other countries may well learn from these developments. The pre-existing cross-subsidies are being reduced, and in this way, it is hoped that extra resources for risk management investment will be forthcoming (from local contributions from at-risk communities) and flood insurance will remain affordable, available and commercially viable. A key conclusion here is that it appears that any increase in flood frequency and severity in the UK appears likely to affect the financially deprived communities to a greater extent than others, not least because they are less likely to insure. Government arrangements to prioritise their contribution to risk reduction towards these financially deprived communities are signs that this regressive effect of floods is real and serious and those arrangements are to be welcomed. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Edmund Penning-Rowsell & Sally Priest, 2015. "Sharing the burden of increasing flood risk: who pays for flood insurance and flood risk management in the United Kingdom," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 20(6), pages 991-1009, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:20:y:2015:i:6:p:991-1009
    DOI: 10.1007/s11027-014-9622-z

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Donatella Porrini & Reimund Schwarze, 2014. "Insurance models and European climate change policies: an assessment," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 38(1), pages 7-28, August.
    2. Jessica E. Lamond & D. G. Proverbs & F. N. Hammond, 2009. "Accessibility of flood risk insurance in the UK: confusion, competition and complacency," Journal of Risk Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(6), pages 825-841, September.
    3. Edmund C. Penning-Rowsell & Sally Priest & Clare Johnson, 2014. "The evolution of UK flood insurance: incremental change over six decades," International Journal of Water Resources Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(4), pages 694-713, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:masfgc:v:20:y:2015:i:6:p:991-1009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.