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The cost of extreme weather

Protect your business against the risk of flooding

In the wake of the devastating floods caused by Storm Harvey in the States, it is becoming increasingly apparent that these extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and more severe, often causing irreparable damage to homes and businesses. Here, Mike Dickinson, Sales & Marketing Director at Nottingham’s largest independent insurance broker, Russell Scanlan, explains the growing need to assess your flood cover.

Recent events are just another reminder that flash flooding and prolonged torrential downpours mean we have to ensure greater protection for businesses and homes against what the weather throws at us. With over 30,000 people left homeless in Houston this week and thousands of businesses left in ruin – it’s feared that many of those affected didn’t have flood cover because their property wasn’t registered in an area typically at risk. It could be time for us all to reassess our needs as these events become more widespread.

There is a worrying number of commercial properties without the correct level of insurance, with some businesses only finding out they are underinsured when their policies do not cover their flood-damaged premises. As the weather risk grows, it’s time to dust down your policies and take a close look at the details to check on whether you are covered for all eventualities.

1 in 6 properties in the UK are currently at risk of flooding – a number which could rise in extreme events. Correct cover is key, but additional measures can be taken to back up your claim if you’re flooded. Prevent water from entering the building with flood gates, air brick covers and non-return sewer valves and reduce repair time with small changes such as replacing carpet with hard floors and raising electrical points.

On top of flood and contents cover; other business factors may need taking into account as the risk continues to grow. For example, if your business manages a fleet of vehicles, it may be important to review your policy, as third-party car insurance won’t cover flood damaged cars or vans.

In the UK, recent months have seen some positive developments for flood insurance – the Association for British Insurers (ABI) has produced a Guide to Resistant & Resilient Repair After A Flood as part of advisory services set up after floods in 2015. Also, the new Property Flood Resilience Action Plan explores the role of building regulations and certification for businesses, by encouraging use of flood resistant construction methods.

With the Met Office warning of ‘unprecedented downpours’ this winter, the chance of us seeing record levels of rainfall has increased by 34% in some areas. There has never been a better time to reassess the risk to your property. If you have any questions about your flood cover, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our team.

To access the Property Flood Resilience Action Plan, visit: https://www.bre.co.uk/filelibrary/Centre-for-Resilience/Property-Flood-Resilience-Action-Plan.pdf


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