Property insurance to rise on flash flooding risks

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No image availableNL Times

The Netherlands is experiencing more and more heavy rainstorms, causing damage to homes that municipalities will not insure or prevent. Insurance companies expect that home insurance will go up with dozens of euro every year, the Algemeen Dagblad reports. 

Up to the year 2050, insurers predict that compensation paid out for damage caused by these heavy rainstorms may rise by up to 25 percent. Insurers confirm that the premium for home insurances will therefore also rise.

The insurers base these predictions on figures from the Royal Meteorological Institute (KNMI) about climate change. The Institute predicts heavier, shorter showers, bringing down up to 150 millimeters of rainwater in two hours. "That extreme damage will come, so insurers want to know what the consequences are", climate expert Piet Vellinga tells the Algemeen Dagblad.

Insurers have been pressing the issue to municipalities, asking them to take measures to prevent damage from rain. More plant matter, for example, to keep soil erosion, wider sewage pipes, and other measures to allow for easier water runoff. Not every municipality is as open as the next to the financial burden of these measures, however.

According to the Algemeen Dagblad, it may become the measure that insurers will make a distinction. Whoever lives in a municipality that does a lot to prevent damage, may pay a smaller premium. "The bigger the chance of damage in a region, the higher the premium" says Veilinga.

Rudi Buis of the Bond of Insurers says there isn't a black and white way to determine 'risk regions' for flood damage, however. "There are red areas, but that is because those municipalities do too little to ensure that the water can move there. It would not be fair to let individuals pay for that."