Worried About Flooding?
Here’s our guide to staying afloat
More than 5,000 homes and businesses are estimated to have been flooded since the start of December 2013. With the poor weather we have witnessed over recent winter months it is important that business owners are aware of the measures they can take to prepare for future storms, and the actions they should take if affected.
Here are a few simple and cost effective steps that may just help your business to stay afloat:
Prepare for the worst
The Environment Agency estimates that by taking action to prepare in advance for flooding, most businesses can save between 20% and 90% on the cost of lost stock and movable equipment, as well as some of the trouble and stress that goes with such an event.
Make sure you keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts and warnings. You can call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 to see if your business can sign up for free flood warnings. You can also create a flood plan for your business, as recommended by the Environment Agency. This written plan will help you decide what practical actions are needed to reduce the damage caused by rising water levels.
Visit http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/business/topics/flooding/32362.aspx for details and a flood plan template.
Talk to us about your current insurance cover
If you are hit by flooding and your commercial property is damaged, the right type and level of insurance will compensate damage costs and ensure that you aren’t left out of pocket. More often than not, this type of cover is the difference between a business staying afloat or going under, given that even small businesses can expect to make a claim of £40,000-£80,000 for flood damage.
Flood insurance is available in all shapes and sizes, so it’s important to check your current cover and discuss your options with the professional brokers at Opus to ensure you have the right level of protection tailored to your business. Our team can provide guidance and work with you to carry out a full assessment of your business, including its location, to establish which areas are most vulnerable. If your business is close to riverbanks, estuaries or sewers, it will be susceptible to high groundwater levels and may require a specific type of flood insurance. If you have been affected in the past, business interruption insurance may be the best option for you.
Talk to us sooner rather than later to ensure you’re covered.
Act quickly if the worst happens
There are, of course, certain circumstances when it’s impossible to prevent flooding no matter what precautions you take, as homes and businesses in the Somerset Levels can testify. If you are affected, it’s vital to act quickly to ensure you get a full and fair settlement of your claim. Make sure you:
- Contact Opus as soon as possible so we can notify your insurer. It is important that serious damage is inspected as soon as possible.
- Keep hold of any damaged items (unless they are a danger to your health) as your insurer may wish to inspect them.
- If repair work needs to be done to stop further damage occurring, get the work done but make sure you keep receipts and take photographs if possible.