As more heavy rain is forecast and the costs of the recent storms continue to rise, business owners need to be aware of the steps they can take to prepare for the storms – and deal with the aftermath if the worst happens. Hine’s three-step plan is here to help:
STEP 1: CHECK YOUR INSURANCE COVER
If you are hit by flooding and your business premises are damaged, the right type and level of business insurance will compensate damage costs and ensure that you aren’t left out of pocket.
Different levels of cover are available so it’s important to talk to the professional brokers at Hine and get the right advice before you buy. We will help you to carry out a full assessment to establish the specific areas of your business that are at risk, how location could be a factor, and how quickly you could recover if the worst did happen.
If your business is situated close to estuaries, riverbanks or sewers, it will be vulnerable to high groundwater levels and may require a specific type of flood insurance. If your business has been affected in the past, business interruption insurance may be the best option for you.
STEP 2: PREPARE FOR THE WORST
More than 5,000 homes and businesses are estimated to have been flooded since the start of December 2013, therefore it’s important to:
• Keep up to date with the latest weather forecasts and warnings. Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188 to see if your business can sign up for free flood warnings.
• Create a flood plan 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.
The Environment Agency estimates that by taking action to prepare in advance for flooding, most businesses can save between 20 and 90 per cent on the cost of lost stock and movable equipment, as well as some of the trouble and stress that goes with such an event.
STEP 3: ACT SMART AND ACT QUICKLY IF THE WORST HAPPENS
You can take every precaution to limit the damage caused by floodwater, but you may not be able to completely flood-proof your business. If you are affected by the floods, it’s important to act smart and act quickly to ensure you get a full and fair settlement of your claim. Remember the following:
• Contact us 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 want 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.
For more information on protecting your business from flooding, and to find out more about the types of cover available, contact Hine Chartered Insurance Brokers today.