Flooding can have a devastating impact on your business. Since commercial properties are twice as likely to be at risk from flooding compared to the average British property1, it is vital you are prepared in the event of a disaster.
Flooding is a significant risk to retailers. A relatively small depth of flooding can cause exceptionally high losses, with a depth of flooding of around 30cm likely to cause significant/total loss to vehicles stored at ground level.
Flood is challenging in so far as the measures which can be put in place to mitigate the risk are limited. Transferring the risk is an option but insurers are increasingly cautious around flood risks due to significant losses in recent years, particularly the Boxing Day floods of 2015. In February this year, Storm Franklin caused flooding in Yorkshire (North/South and West), Derbyshire and West Midlands. There has also been significant surface water flooding in Central London which cost insurers many millions.
Insurers also have significant concerns around climate change and the impact this may have on flood losses with greater extremes of weather events being experienced. Floods threaten businesses, yet in a survey by FloodFlash2 , only 42% claimed to have business interruption insurance.
There are a number of ways to properly assess the risk, mitigate the risk and plan for a flooding event.
Help ensure your business is more flood resilient by considering:
Understanding and mitigating flood risk
Are you in a flood risk area?
The National Risk Register of Civil Emergencies identifies three types of flooding which are considered as having the potential to cause significant disruption in the UK.
> Coastal (where high tides and storm surges combine to cause the sea to flood inland)
> Rivers and streams, known as ‘fluvial flooding’ (where waterways overflow their banks into surrounding areas)
> Surface water (where rainfall overwhelms drainage systems). Surface water flooding is also particularly difficult to forecast
with accuracy and can happen at very short notice GOV.UK provides services to tell you the flood risk of area:
The information provided by the databases can be limited, but they will provide an overview of the flood risk, classifying this is High, Medium or Low, or by various flood zones 1, 2 and 3 with 3 being the higher risk.
Identifying where there is a risk.
Where a risk is identified, it is important to understand the extent of the risk and how this might impact on the business.
PIB Insurance Brokers and PIB Risk Management can assist in a number of ways:
> Desktop review
> Site survey
> Business Continuity or Emergency Response
Planning to help assist in preparing for and responding to a flooding incident that may impact on the dealership customer services or the welfare of employees.
These measures provide a greater level of understanding including potential depths of flooding and likelihood of flooding based upon a frequency in years, and along with considering an estimated maximum loss, we are able to engage with insurers in discussion and negotiation around the stance they are taking to the flood risk.
It is accepted that it may be impossible to completely flood proof your business, but with climate change leading to a greater risk of floods, it is crucial to take precautionary steps now to reduce the impacts of damage.