Last winter was one of the wettest since records began according to news out today. The BBC has reported that flooding in 2015 was the ‘most extreme on record’ with four major named storms hitting the UK. One of those storms, Storm Desmond, triggered widespread, damaging floods in Cumbria and Lancashire causing an estimated insurance bill of more than £1.3bn.
In England and Wales alone, more than 5 million properties—as many as 1 in 6—are at risk of flooding. One in 14 Scottish properties and 1 in 20 Northern Ireland properties are also at risk. With these odds, there is a good chance that one of these properties at risk belongs to you.
The Environment Agency estimates that with proper flood preparation, most businesses can save 20 to 90 per cent on the cost of lost stock or damage due to flooding. It is impossible to completely flood-proof your property, but flood preparation can lower your business’ risk of damage and reduce business interruptions.
Are You at Risk of Flooding?
Begin your preparation by consulting your area’s flood risk map. The Environment Agency (EA) publishes maps for England, Wales and Scotland found at www.environment-agency.gov.uk. The EA makes three types of maps, each addressing a different flooding hazard: surface water, reservoirs, and rivers and the sea. Northern Ireland’s flood risk maps can be found at www.dardni.gov.uk/strategic-flood-map-ni. For areas of high flood risk, the EA offers Floodline Warnings Direct, a free service that provides flood warnings via telephone, mobile, email, SMS text messaging and fax. Sign up at fwd.environment-agency.gov.uk.
Prepare Your Business Against Flood Damage
Once you have assessed your risk, it is time to prepare your business accordingly. Buy and install products in advance that fortifies your property against flood damage.
In combination with your business’ physical flood prevention measures, such as buying and installing products in advance to fortify your property against water, we recommend adopting organisational precautions and creating a food plan.
A flood plan is a written document outlining how your business will respond to a flood. It should include a list of important contact information, including Floodline (0845 988 1188), your insurers details and any additional flood warning systems, building services, suppliers and evacuation contacts and procedural checklists for staff to use during a flood. Store your business’ flood plan in an easily accessible location—everyone should know where it is at all times.
If you already have a flood plan, it’s a important to review and update your plan annually. Flood risks and procedures can change, so make sure your business is prepared.
Flood insurance is the ultimate preparation for your business. Check your commercial cover to make sure you are covered for flood damage. Flooding poses a substantial—but not ruinous—threat to UK businesses.
The insurance professionals at Reason Global Insurance Limited are poised to help fortify your property and protect your fleets and customers’ possessions from flood. Rely on us to provide more flood-preparation materials and help keep your business from going under.
For more details on any of our insurance policies, please give us a call.