Baden-Württemberg: Institute: Do not rely on state aid in the event of natural disasters

Mannheim (dpa/lsw) - The Leibniz Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) warns homeowners against relying on the state in the event of elementary damage.

Baden-Württemberg: Institute: Do not rely on state aid in the event of natural disasters

Mannheim (dpa/lsw) - The Leibniz Center for European Economic Research (ZEW) warns homeowners against relying on the state in the event of elementary damage. "In the event of an acute disaster, state aid for uninsured victims is indispensable, but in the long term it sets the wrong incentives and thus leads to poorer provision," emphasized ZEW environmental economist Daniel Osberghaus in a study on Wednesday. It is significant that the proportion of households that expect financial help from the state in the event of a claim has grown significantly after the flood disaster last year: the value of more than 5,000 households surveyed rose from 12 percent in 2020 to 22 percent in 2022.

According to the Mannheim flood expert, most of the households hit by the flash floods in western Germany in July 2021 were not insured. According to the ZEW, only 37 percent of households in Rhineland-Palatinate had building insurance that also covers corresponding elementary damage. The federal and state governments would have helped uninsured people to rebuild their homes from a flood relief fund totaling 30 billion euros. But you can't rely on that. Experience has shown that the government helps out when many households are affected and the natural disaster is widely reported. Between 2002 and 2019, around half of the flood victims received no government support.

Osberghaus proposes a double insurance obligation: Every privately used residential property must then be insured against flood damage. In addition, insurers would have to make an offer to every household. In addition, the insurance obligation should be limited to a subsistence level. Households could then voluntarily insure property values ​​that go beyond this.

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