Insights into flood risk misperceptions of homeownersWith Wouter Botzen, Julia Blasch and Hans de Moel.
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to understand and quantify the flood risk misperceptions of floodplain residents in the Netherlands. The results are important for the design of effective risk communication campaigns and insurance schemes to cope with increasing natural disaster risks. We collected survey data among 2000+ homeowners in the Dutch river deltas and examine how respondents’ perceptions of flood probability and damage relate to objective risk information, such as expert estimates and dike-ring standards. We use geographical information system (GIS) methods to find individual-level objective risks, including a homeowner’s distance to the nearest river. These variables are combined with potentially important behavioral variables such as coping responses, worry about flood, locus of control and trust in the Dutch dikes in a regression analysis to explain perceived flood risk probability and damage. Our preliminary results show that individuals overestimate the probability of floods, while underestimating potential damage. The differences in recent flood experience on flood risk perceptions are discussed. We conclude with policy recommendations about flood risk information provision to homeowners in floodplain areas.