How do floods affect insurance demand? Evidence from flood insurance take-up in Japan

Jie Shao, Akio Hoshino, Satoshi Nakaide*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examines the hypothetical impact of floods on people's flood insurance purchase decisions, and how this impact may differ among people with different socioeconomic, geographic, and financial literacy characteristics. We find a significant yet short-lived (1-year) impact of floods on people's demand for flood insurance at an ecological level (prefectures). Different aspects of flood damage have different impacts on flood insurance take-up, with human casualties having the greatest impact on people's perception of flood risk. We also find that groups with different socioeconomic characteristics, such as age, education, and insurance agent density, react differently to floods concerning insurance purchases. We confirm a positive relationship between objective risk exposure and people's perception of the flood experience. Finally, an analysis of the Financial Literacy Survey demonstrates the impact of three cognitive biases (loss aversion, myopic, herding) on flood insurance take-up. These findings provide empirical evidence for various psychological and behavioral theories, and important policy references for countries aiming to develop flood insurance in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103424
JournalInternational Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec


  • Flood
  • Grouped regression
  • Heterogeneous effect
  • Insurance
  • Japan
  • Take-up

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Safety Research


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