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Protecting your business from flooding

With the weather in the UK becoming less predictable and more severe, now more than ever business owners need to be proactive in mitigating flood risk. Here are some practical steps business owners can take to do just that. 

Check your insurance policies

Your buildings, stock, equipment, fixtures and fittings insurance will offer cover in the event of flood damage. The cost of everything from drying out, repairing or restoring and removing debris, to legal fees should be included in your insurance policy. You should also have business interruption insurance in place.

When looking for a reasonably priced insurance policy that includes all of these features there are a few things you can do to help the process. If you are in a high-risk flood area then try to contact an insurance company that specialises in flood risk cover. Contacting a wide range of insurers will give you a variety of policies to choose from, and an overview of the types of cover that are available. You can also invest in a flood mitigation survey, which will help you pinpoint what to do to reduce your exposure to flooding, and present your risk profile to insurers in the best possible light, which could reduce your premium.

Preventative measures

By preparing a detailed flood plan, you can significantly reduce the impact a flood has on your business. Your flood plan should contain all the information needed during an emergency, such as contact numbers, and how your business will respond and recover from any damage.

Your flood plan should be looked at and updated every year; as your business grows, you will need to make changes to reflect this. Keep your flood plan in a safe place (as well as in a waterproof document holder) along with your insurance details and any other important financial and legal documents.

Reducing flood damage

Sometimes, even with the best contingency planning, flooding is unavoidable. Should the worst happen, businesses can take the following practical steps to minimise the physical damage caused by a flood. 

  • Use flood barriers, airbrick covers, plastic sheeting, and flood skirts to prevent water from entering the property or causing damage at the foundation level. 
  • Use sandbags to block entry points, and to block toilet bowls (doing this prevents sewage from overflowing into bathrooms)
  • Wrap heavy-duty bin liners around the bases of furniture such as tables, chairs, and desks.
  • Place items on pallets to elevate them above the water level. 
  • Plywood and other wood can be used to board up windows and doors – it’s not always the flood water itself that does the damage but if larger items are being carried by the water they can break glass in windows and cause other damage

Emergency checklist

And finally, keep a record of all emergency numbers that you may need to contact prior to or immediately following a flood. This should include:

  • Your insurance company’s phone number
  • Gas-safe plumber phone number
  • Certified electrician phone number
  • Key suppliers contact details (call them to delay, reschedule or relocate any deliveries)
  • Key members of staff contact details

Emergency numbers, including:

  • Gas supplier
  • Water supplier
  • Electricity supplier
  • Insurance company
  • Loss assessor
  • Builder
  • Electrician
  • Plumber/ heating engineer

For more information please visit https://www.morganclark.co.uk/for-businesses/flood/ or for more information about the flood insurance claim process, read our comprehensive flood guide for businesses.

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