Storms Desmond, Eva and Frank caused devastation to many UK businesses last year, with many still attempting to recover their businesses even to this day, with the Association of British Insurers reporting that the overall cost of insurance claims reached £1.3 billion.
So as we again enter another winter full of weather worries what can be done to help your business avoid such devastation?
Here are 3 top tips on what you and your broker can assess and action which really should help!
1. Speak to your broker about their and their selected insurers flood mapping tools. Specialist programs used by some insurers assess the likelihood of a flood occurring in a particular geographical location enabling them to use data to assess your risk. Also refer to the Environment Agency website (https://www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk) for local flood warnings and find out if you are in an at risk area.
2. Put in place an emergency response plan and communicate this to everyone within the business. This can include actions such as laying sandbags, shutting down electricity, and moving stock and business equipment away from lower levels.
3. Take pre-emptive measures to protect your premises from flood damage. These can be simple things such as making sure you clear your drains on a regular basis and having sandbags available, to:
- Installing sump pumps in basements if your property is known to be at risk of flooding
- Fitting no-return valves to water outlet pipes to stop water backing up into the property
- Use water resistant sealants around doors and window frames, or anywhere there are small gaps that could let water in.
- Paint sealants onto porous materials like bricks and mortar to reduce the risk water damage
- Ask a professional electrician to raise your electrical points above likely flood water levels
If you are unfortunate enough to suffer damage following a storm or flood ensure you make immediate contact with your insurer and/or broker so they can assist you in reducing the impact to your business.
Check your policy documents are in a safe, easily accessible place, so if you need to make a claim you have the information (especially insurer name and policy number) readily available.