Risk Analysis

Flood Catastrophe Model for Designing Optimal Flood Insurance Program: Estimating Location‐Specific Premiums in the Netherlands

Journal Article

As flood risks grow worldwide, a well‐designed insurance program engaging various stakeholders becomes a vital instrument in flood risk management. The main challenge concerns the applicability of standard approaches for calculating insurance premiums of rare catastrophic losses. This article focuses on the design of a flood‐loss‐sharing program involving private insurance based on location‐specific exposures. The analysis is guided by a developed integrated catastrophe risk management (ICRM) model consisting of a GIS‐based flood model and a stochastic optimization procedure with respect to location‐specific risk exposures. To achieve the stability and robustness of the program towards floods with various recurrences, the ICRM uses stochastic optimization procedure, which relies on quantile‐related risk functions of a systemic insolvency involving overpayments and underpayments of the stakeholders. Two alternative ways of calculating insurance premiums are compared: the robust derived with the ICRM and the traditional average annual loss approach. The applicability of the proposed model is illustrated in a case study of a Rotterdam area outside the main flood protection system in the Netherlands. Our numerical experiments demonstrate essential advantages of the robust premiums, namely, that they: (1) guarantee the program's solvency under all relevant flood scenarios rather than one average event; (2) establish a tradeoff between the security of the program and the welfare of locations; and (3) decrease the need for other risk transfer and risk reduction measures.

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