Flood peaks and volumes are essential design variables and can be simulated by precipitation–runoff (P–R) modelling. The high-resolution precipitation time series that are often required for this purpose can be generated by various temporal disaggregation methods. Here, we compare a simple method (M1, one parameter), focusing on the effective precipitation duration for flood simulations, with a multiplicative cascade model (M2, 32/36 parameters). While M2 aims at generating realistic characteristics of precipitation time series, M1 aims only at accurately reproducing flood variables by P–R modelling. Both disaggregation methods were tested on precipitation time series of nine Swiss mesoscale catchments. The generated high-resolution time series served as input for P–R modelling using a lumped HBV model. The results indicate that differences identified in precipitation characteristics of disaggregated time series vanish when introduced into the lumped hydrological model. Moreover, flood peaks were more sensitive than flood volumes to the choice of disaggregation method.