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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 17, issue 3 | Copyright
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 913-922, 2013
© Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 04 Mar 2013

Research article | 04 Mar 2013

A statistical analysis of insurance damage claims related to rainfall extremes

M. H. Spekkers1, M. Kok2, F. H. L. R. Clemens1, and J. A. E. ten Veldhuis1 M. H. Spekkers et al.
  • 1Delft University of Technology, Department of Water Management, Delft, the Netherlands
  • 2Delft University of Technology, Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Delft, the Netherlands

Abstract. In this paper, a database of water-related insurance damage claims related to private properties and content was analysed. The aim was to investigate whether the probability of occurrence of rainfall-related damage was associated with the intensity of rainfall. Rainfall data were used for the period of 2003–2009 in the Netherlands based on a network of 33 automatic rain gauges operated by the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Insurance damage data were aggregated to areas within 10-km range of the rain gauges. Through a logistic regression model, high claim numbers were linked to maximum rainfall intensities, with rainfall intensity based on 10-min to 4-h time windows. Rainfall intensity proved to be a significant damage predictor; however, the explained variance, approximated by a pseudo-R2 statistic, was at most 34% for property damage and at most 30% for content damage. When directly comparing predicted and observed values, the model was able to predict 5–17% more cases correctly compared to a random prediction. No important differences were found between relations with property and content damage data. A considerable fraction of the variance is left unexplained, which emphasizes the need to study damage generating mechanisms and additional explanatory variables.

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