Contributions of Flood Insurance to Enhance Resilience–Findings from Germany

  • Annegret H. ThiekenEmail author
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


In 2002, a severe flood caused financial losses of EUR 11.6 billion in Germany and triggered many changes in flood risk management. This chapter focuses on flood insurance, which is a voluntary supplementary insurance in Germany: it is explored how flood insurance has contributed to enhance resilience of flood-prone residents. The analyses are based on empirical data collected by post-event surveys in the federal states of Saxony and Bavaria and refer to the three pillars upon which the concept of flood resilience usually builds in the natural hazards context: recovery, adaptive capacity and resistance. Overall, the penetration of flood insurance has increased since 2002 and there is strong empirical evidence that losses of insured residents are more often and better compensated than those of uninsured despite the provision of governmental financial disaster assistance after big floods. This facilitation of recovery is, however, not the only contribution to flood resilience. Insured residents tend to invest more in further flood mitigation measures at their properties than uninsured. Obviously, flood insurance is embedded in a complex safety strategy of property owners that needs more investigation in order to be addressed more effectively in risk communication and integrated risk management strategies.


Flood losses Recovery Climate change adaptation Saxony Bavaria 



The presented work was mainly developed within the framework of the project “Coping with the flood in June 2013” funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF; funding contract no. 13N13017). The survey data used were collected by a joint venture between the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam, the Deutsche Rückversicherung AG, Düsseldorf, and the University of Potsdam. Besides own resources of the partners, additional funds were provided by BMBF in the framework of the following research projects: DFNK no. 01SFR9969/5, MEDIS no. 0330688, and Flood 2013 no. 13N13017.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany

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