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The results of subsidised flood insurance coverage on actual property markets – Financial institution Underground


Nicola Garbarino, Benjamin Guin and Jonathan Lee

5.2 million properties in England are liable to flooding. To make sure the provision and affordability of flood insurance coverage to households in flood-prone areas, the UK Authorities launched an progressive reinsurance scheme, Flood Re, in April 2016. It offers insurers with an choice to go the flood-risk aspect of their insurance policies on to the reinsurer at a decrease fastened worth in response to property council tax band. In a lately printed Workers Working Paper, we make use of a granular information set of all property transactions and flood occasions in England. We estimate the impact of Flood Re on property values. We additionally discover if Flood Re results are heterogeneous throughout completely different subpopulations in England.

Flood Re reduces insurance coverage premiums for households in flood-risk areas by over half for 4 out of 5 properties with earlier flood claims. This could improve the values of flood-prone properties. Nonetheless, in principle, the magnitude of this property worth impact is determined by the anticipated discount in future insurance coverage premiums brought on by Flood Re in addition to the speed in discounting future insurance coverage premiums. Furthermore, the Flood Re impact may fluctuate by space and demographic teams on account of variations in flood threat and residential possession. 

Empirical strategy to establish the house-price impact of Flood Re

In our analysis, we look at properties in England. We make use of a ‘repeat gross sales strategy’ analyzing solely these 1.5 million properties constructed earlier than 2002 and offered a number of instances. Particularly, we regress the change in property worth on their publicity to flooding. In our regression, we work together this flood publicity with a binary variable capturing the time interval when Flood Re was working. The character of this analysis design permits us to account for unobservable and time-invariant property traits, by analyzing the impact of floods on property costs each earlier than and after Flood Re got here in. To gauge heterogeneous results of the coverage, we then estimate our regression in numerous subsamples. To that finish, we slice our information by property values and completely different regional traits, resembling their revenue degree, obtained from the Workplace of Nationwide Statistics.

Common affect of Flood Re on property costs

Chart 1 illustrates the impact of Flood Re on costs of flooded properties. We first run our regression on the complete pattern of properties in England. We discover that flood occasions cut back property values by greater than 1.5% relative to their first transition earlier than the introduction of Flood Re. This damaging impact is totally mitigated after the introduction of Flood Re.

Chart 1: Impact of Flood Re on property costs

For a median property, the introduction of Flood Re will increase the relative worth of properties because of flooding by £4,083. We then conduct a back-of-the-envelope calculation among the many 5.2 million properties which can be liable to flooding in England. It means that the subsidisation of Flood Re will increase the full worth of flooded properties by £212.3 million per yr, assuming just one% of the at-risk properties are flooded yearly. The full impact of Flood Re on property values would double to £424.6 million if flood-risk likelihood additional will increase to 2%.

Our outcomes recommend that Flood Re additionally will increase the transaction volumes of properties in at-risk areas. Chart 2 outlines the consequences of Flood Re on the transaction volumes of flooded properties. Our outcomes recommend {that a} flooded property has a 3.6% discount within the annual likelihood of transacting earlier than Flood Re got here into place. Flood Re greater than offsets this damaging impact on the transaction likelihood and will increase the transaction of flooded properties.

Chart 2: Impact of Flood Re on market liquidity

Regional heterogeneity within the response of property costs

We additionally discover heterogeneous results of Flood Re in numerous areas throughout England. To that finish, we create subsamples by using median values of key variables to separate the unique pattern in half. The impact of Flood Re is stronger in city areas with the next revenue and an older inhabitants in addition to areas with extra rental properties. Whereas it might be fascinating to establish the channels resulting in the heterogeneous results, our research leaves this query to future analysis as a result of lack of extra granular information.

Conclusion and dialogue

Our outcomes illustrate two key implications. First, we doc heterogeneous Flood Re results. Curiously, our outcomes recommend that Flood Re has a weak affect in lower-income areas however a stronger affect in higher-income areas. These outcomes might be seen as proof hinting at distributional penalties of this reinsurance scheme by way of wealth amongst owners in England.

Second, the outcomes are related for the transition threat of public coverage interventions. Flood Re is anticipated to be phased out in 2039. The flood-risk element of property insurance coverage could due to this fact be absolutely priced into premiums by that point. Consequently, the worth of properties at flood threat could expertise a sudden adjustment, reflecting the rise in present and future premiums. Nonetheless, the magnitude of the impact that we estimate doesn’t seem massive sufficient to disrupt property and monetary markets, however this will change if flood-risk perceptions change within the subsequent many years.


Nicola Garbarino works on the Ludwig Maximilian College of Munich and the Ifo Institute, Benjamin Guin works within the Financial institution’s Technique and Coverage Method Division and Jonathan Lee works on the College of Glasgow.

If you wish to get in contact, please electronic mail us at bankunderground@bankofengland.co.uk or go away a remark beneath.

Feedback will solely seem as soon as permitted by a moderator, and are solely printed the place a full identify is provided. Financial institution Underground is a weblog for Financial institution of England employees to share views that problem – or help – prevailing coverage orthodoxies. The views expressed listed below are these of the authors, and are usually not essentially these of the Financial institution of England, or its coverage committees.



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