Flood Hazard Management: British and International Perspectives

By John Handmer | Go to book overview

8

FLOOD INSURANCE AND FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT

Nigel W. Arnell

Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford


ABSTRACT

Although the primary role of flood insurance must be to facilitate recovery from flood loss, it is possible in principle to integrate flood insurance into more general floodplain management strategies. Flood insurance lies at the heart of federal initiatives in floodplain management in the United States, where it is used as a bait to encourage local communities to adopt floodplain regulations. In Britain, however, flood insurance is sold directly by the private insurance industry, and plays no part in wider floodplain management. This paper reviews the provision of flood insurance in both the United States and Britain, with particular reference to actual and potential links with flood loss reduction.


INTRODUCTION

The primary role of flood insurance must be to facilitate recovery from flood loss, but it is possible in principle for flood insurance to be integrated into more general floodplain management strategies. It is the intention of this chapter to consider the actual and potential contribution of flood insurance to floodplain management in Britain, and in order to do this it is first necessary to review the theoretical ways in which this contribution can be made. Also, it is useful to examine the United States National Flood Insurance Program. This both constitutes an interesting case study of the role of insurance in floodplain management and-of greater relevance in this chapter-provides a comparison between British and American practices.

This chapter focusses on insurance in relation to floodplain management, and consequently issues such as the means of coping with irregular, varied and spatially-constrained flood losses must be passed over.

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