Around 300,000 commercial properties are at risk of a flood – and you could be one of them. But, fear not, because preparing well in advance 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 and fridges, use plinths to raise them above the ground to minimise damage.
Keeping water out is a tougher task than you might think. 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.
Most importantly – have a plan. And make sure that plan is printed out, visible, and communicated to your team. You can download a template flood plan here.
Of course, we’re insurance experts and not flood experts. But you can invest in 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
Sign up for flood warnings – even if you think you’re not at risk of a flood. 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
Step one – contact us. We’ll let your insurer know asap, so you can get back up and running as quickly as possible. Don’t throw anything away without discussing it with us first, and take plenty of photographs of the damage to use as evidence in your claim.
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’s basic stuff, but worth keeping at the forefront of your mind.
And don’t forget – Romero has an expert team, ranging from risk management specialists right through to claims handlers so you can always turn to us for advice.
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.
If you’ve been flooded before, you might find your flood excess rocket. If your flood excess would cripple your business financially, speak to our team about Flood Excess Insurance. This additional cover will pay your Flood Excess up to £50,000, even if you don’t require the full amount to be covered.