Flood Insurance Facts for Small Businesses

Unless you’ve been living in the Sahara desert for the past three weeks, you’ll know that the North of England and Scotland have been battered by floods that have seen thousands of families evacuated, and hundreds of businesses ruined.

Small businesses are remaining vigil in their plight through the floods, with stock ruined and money lost, it can be difficult to see how they’ll get back on their feet. Luckily, many communities have come together to aid their local businesses.

While it’s great to know that small businesses are so vigilant, it’s also important to use these events bring awareness to the fact that 52% of small businesses on floodplains do not have flood insurance. Also, around 75,000 small businesses at risk of flooding have difficulty finding flood insurance.

Considering the catastrophe that has hit the North of the country, we’re sure plenty of other businesses will be keen to learn how to get their businesses insured, so we have collected the information you need to know.

Know Your Flood Risk

The first thing to do is to know what kind of risk your business is at. Know Your Flood Risk is a campaign which aims to raise awareness about your flooding risk. With the average losses from a flood being £28,000 it’s worth checking whether you’re in a high risk area.

The easiest way to see if you’re at risk is to call the Environment Agency’s Floodline Service on 0800 988 1188 and give them your postcode. They will then be able to tell you if your business is in a flood risk area.

For a more specific evaluation you can use Sitecheck Flood. This website assesses the potential flood risk to a commercial site and is property-specific. The website includes exclusive information on surface water flooding and official Environment Agency flood data.

Insurance

Once you’ve looked at whether your business is at risk of flood it’s best to check what your next steps should be. Flood damage is not always included in standard business insurance so searching for it can be a hassle. However, there’s many different factors to flood damage that will affect your business, such as damaged stock and premises as well as interruption to business, so it’s worth looking for the right insurance.

You can often add flood damage to your existing insurance policy – the premium or excess may be higher, but there are ways to cut this down. For example, risk-reducing measures such as replacing carpets with waterproof tiling and raising electricity sockets to reduce floodwater impact may reduce premiums and save you a lot of hassle in the event of a flood.

If you’re having trouble getting flood insurance with your current insurance company take a look at the National Flood Forum. The NFF provide a list of ‘flood friendly insurers’ who will guarantee to re-insure and offer insurance to subsequent owners as well as publish the basis of assessing risk and setting costs, so that your flood risk is assessed individually.

Has your business been affected by the recent flooding? Please get in touch with us in the comments below or via our Twitter

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