By Richard Ellard, Commercial Property & Development team.
Do you own one of the 2400 properties in Medway, 3275 properties in Rother and Romney or 5550 properties in North Kent* regarded as at risk from floods?
Flooding can occur in a number of ways:
- river flooding
- coastal flooding
- surface water flooding
- ground water flooding.
The first two are logical; but surface water flooding was the major factor in recent problems faced by towns and cities. Inadequate drainage causes an overflow into roads and streets and causes significant damage for businesses.
Flood insurance at commercial rates may become increasingly difficult to obtain. The Statement of Principles entered into between the ABI and the Government ends in June 2013. Without a replacement, the spreading of risk between at-risk and not-at-risk properties will stop, causing premiums to rise significantly for at-risk properties.
Insurance is a necessity so you should consider what steps can be taken to minimise premiums.
- sign up to the Environment Agency Flood Warnings Direct service
- develop a flood plan
- install flood water barriers for doors and windows
- obtain sandbags
- back up data regularly
- ensure drains are running effectively
- put valuable items at higher ground
- carry out a surface water flood risk desktop search through commercial providers. These will identify the risk (or not), of where water may pool as a result of any surface water flooding.
Adequate preparation and evidence you have minimised the risk of damage where possible may convince insurers you are less risky.
Whether or not in the short term these measures bring down the cost of premiums, they may assist in limiting damage caused by flooding. ‘Downtime’ as a result of floods may be significantly reduced meaning that you can get back to running your business sooner.