Flooding - which can cause significant damage what you can do to protect your business and take advance measures
Did you know that there is around 300,000 commercial properties that are at risk of a flood ? could you be one of them? The essential here is to prepare in advance, this is often the key to minimising damage.
Significant damage can be caused by flooding
According to Know Your Flood Risk, businesses can save up to 90% on the cost of replacing stock or equipment by simply preparing for the possibility of a flood.
Not only can flooding damage equipment, it can damage property and seriously affect the structure of your building. Like fires, flood damage is often irrevocable and once the flood’s begun it becomes an almost impossible job to minimise its impact.
Therefore, the key to minimising damage it to keep water out for as long as you can. This enables you to get sandbags and flood barriers at the ready, and to move equipment and business critical materials onto a higher ground. For heavier items such as dishwashers, washers and fridges, use plinths to raise them above the ground to minimise damage.
Keeping out the water by Installing flood resistant doors and window frames is a good start, as is trying to ensure plaster and floor coverings are made from flood resilient materials. Ensuring access routes or car parking areas have permeable surfacing could also minimise damage. Sump and pump systems are a low cost additional measure to try and minimise water reaching any further than the ground floor.
Do you have a flood plan? Do you know what do to in the event of a flood, have you briefed your team about what action to take? Perhaps it would be a good start to make a flood plan.
The only other way to ensure your business is protected is by paying for a comprehensive flood risk assessment that will give you further advice.
Don’t allow for any digital damage
These days many businesses rely on computers. Computers, obviously, aren’t waterproof. So as well as your material possessions think ahead to protect your digital assets too. Back up your data regularly, and scan in any printed material you might need so you always have a digital version of important documents. Anything like insurance policies, contracts or data-sensitive documents should all be saved digitally and securely.
Keep an eye on flood warnings
It is a really good idea to sign up to flood warnings. Heavy rainfall, sewer overflows or burst water mains can happen to anyone and you need to be aware of what’s round the corner.
What to do after a flood
Contact your Insurance Brokers or brokers. We’ll let your insurer know asap, so you can get back up and running as quickly as possible. Don’t dispose of anything without discussing it with us first, and take plenty of photographs of the damage to use as evidence in your claim. Try and retain all damaged items in the event of an inspection.
Never put yourself or your staff’s health and safety at risk for the sake of a clean-up. If necessary, hire professionals to help clear up after a flood and don’t use any gas or electrical equipment unless it has been inspected by an approved Gas Safe Registered engineer or electrical contractor. It is easy to worry about the costs in the event of a claim but it is essential that you put your staff and yourself first.
Let’s go back to basics – are you covered?
So we’ve been through how to minimise damage in case the worst happens. But if the worst does happen, have you made sure your insurance policy will cover you? Consider business interruption insurance to help keep your business afloat while repairs are being carried out. It’s a vital element of your policy that could make or break your business if you had to cease running temporarily.
Have you also considered seasonal increases on your stock? It would be a good idea to do a review of your business and the worse case scenario.
Check your policy with us
With the weather gradually getting worse as we head into winter, there’s no better time to check with us and make sure your policy covers everything you need it to. We can also discuss other options for Flood Excess Insurance.