Flooding the market – why more businesses are at risk of flooding

Flooding is something that many business face and although the level of risk varies greatly depending on things like location, elevation and the nature of the building your business is based in itself, it’s not something to be taken likely. Flood can all but destroy businesses and the signs all point to them being an increasingly prevalent risk in the future. Here’s what you need to know:

What are the effects of a flood?

Floods can cause a great deal of damage to a business. At the most basic level, floodwater can damage your building, walls, carpets, stock and equipment. Following a flood, damaged property will have to be repaired and cleared up and while this is happening your business will likely be closed, causing a loss in revenue, while any stock that was caused in the flood may have to be written-off and re-purchased. All this comes at a cost that can make it difficult for businesses to re-open once they’re forced to close.

How common is flooding?

Some businesses will likely never flood due to their location, or the preventative measures put in place in their building. However floods often strike when they’re least expected and recent years have seen a large number of businesses stricken by flood water.

In total, 2.8 million properties are deemed at risk of flooding in the UK – that’s one in six, a number which increases to one on four in London. Indeed in 2012, there were a total of 47,000 flood and storm damage claims made by businesses, resulting in £373 million in payout from insurers. From December 2013 to February 2014 the UK experienced the wetter winter on record, with severe flooding resulting in 47,800 flood and storm damage claims during those 3 months alone. This resulted in insurers paying out more than £300 million to businesses owners during this short period.

Why is the risk of flooding increasing?

There’s evidence to suggest that the UK is receiving more rain in total and that this rain is falling in more intense burst, increasing the chances of flooding occurring. In fact, we’ve experienced 7 of the 10 wettest winters on record since 1998, with 2013-2014 being the wettest recorded and the following winter being the 4th wettest. These figures seem to indicate that we will have to be prepared for increasingly wet winters in the years to come.

If you run a business and want to take steps to protect yourself from the damaging financial effects of a flood, call C&M on 01708 764 000 or email us at mail@cm-insurance.co.uk and our industry experts would be happy to advise you on the appropriate insurance cover, to help make sure you are protected from the worst.