Development of a comprehensive systematic quantification of the costs and benefits (CB) of property level flood risk adaptation measures in England

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


Studies in the UK and elsewhere have identified that flooding comes with diverse impacts, ranging from significant financial costs (tangible) to social (intangible) impacts on households. However, it is not feasible for government spending on structural flood defences to adequately protect all at risk properties. Hence, the need for homeowners to take action in the form of investing in property level flood risk adaptation (PLFRA) measures to protect their properties has since been the subject of debate. However, the take-up of PLFRA measures remains low, due to factors such as financial constraints, aesthetics, emotional issues, and a lack of information on the actual cost and financial benefit of investing in the measures. Notably, previous research in this area has failed to include the value of intangible impacts such as health effects, meaning that the existing models do not reflect the full benefits of PLFRA measures. This in part is due to the inherent difficulty in monetising such intangible impacts. Nevertheless, evidence from the literature, indicates that knowledge of such impacts may be important in determining whether to invest in PLFRA measures.

Based on a synthesis of the literature, a conceptual framework of the costs and benefits of PLFRA measures was developed. Data was collected through a questionnaire survey of homeowners who had experienced flood damage to their properties during the 2007 summer flood event. This data was combined with secondary data of the actual cost of reinstatement incurred in the aftermath of the 2007 flood event. By analysing these two data sets, the additional costs of resistance and resilience measures for four property types were established. The value of the intangible benefits of investing in PLFRA measures was found to be £653 per household per year representing an increase of 8% for resistance and 9% for resilience measures.

Decision support lookup tables (DSLT) were developed so that homeowners can determine the cost effectiveness of PLFRA measures as pertaining to individual buildings; insurers can assess the level of potential financial benefit of adopting PLFRA measures by their customers, and perhaps offer incentives by way of premium reduction to encourage homeowners to invest in the measure. Flood risk assessment surveyors can determine the benefit cost ratio of taking up of PLFRA measures for their individual clients; thereby, enhancing the robustness of their professional advice. Most importantly, the DSLT has the potential to complement Government‘s effort in encouraging homeowners to invest in PLFRA measures.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of the West of England
  • Proverbs, Professor David , Supervisor, External person
  • Lamond, Professor Jessica , Supervisor, External person
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2014


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