Flooding poses serious threats to communities. The economic damages incurred by floods have grown immensely over the past several decades in the U.S., especially in the coastal region due to a combination of intense coastal development and climate change impacts. The recent epic flood in Louisiana serves as a vivid reminder that a flood can turn out to be a monster destroying everything on its path.
Being faced with these serious challenges, one effective precautionary measure for coastal residents would be to purchase flood insurance. In reality, though, only a portion of these coastal residents who live in the imminent threats of floods have flood insurance. Naturally, we start to scratch our heads and wonder, "what drives people to buy flood insurance?"
Driven by this question, my co-authors and I analyzed the Gulf Coast Climate Change survey data merged with contextual data, and made several important findings on individual voluntary flood insurance purchase behaviors. The results are published in the journal: Water Research
These findings include:
1. Flood risks in FEMA flood map affect the voluntary purchase of flood insurance.
2. Voluntary behavior is influenced by perceptions of flood-related risks.
3. Intensity of the local flood events in the past affects the voluntary behavior.
4. Social factors especially income significantly affect the voluntary behavior.