Climate change might be low on your list of priorities, but if the unpredictable nature of the British weather leaves your business unable to fulfill its basic requirements, then a sudden downpour could lead to floods of problems to your prestige and profitability. The recent flooding in the UK brings home the risks that face businesses during bouts of extreme weather. The MET office estimates that January rainfall levels were the highest since 1766, with a cost to the UK economy of at least £1 billion. Ensuring your business insurance is in order gives you peace of mind that should that rainy day ever arrive, you’re covered and can be back in business sooner rather than later.
Recent statistics issued by the Environment Agency on the effects on flooding on businesses outline the risks.
- Businesses are more likely to be flooded than burnt down and the cost of flood damage is on average four times greater than fire damage
- Costs related to flooded businesses average between £75,000 and £112,000
- During the 2012 floods, businesses lost £200 million, £84 million of which was property damage with the remainder being consequential damage, such as loss of business and staff absence
To cover or not to cover?
Whilst the focus of this year’s flood coverage has centred on the south-east and Thames valley regions, don’t think that because your area hasn’t been in the news that you’re in the clear. Bridlington on the North Sea coast was battered by rain and showcases the best and worst of how your business insurance cover can make or break your livelihood. The Independent Shellfishermen’s Co-operative saw water wash through their warehouse, destroying stock and equipment worth £20000. However, company secretary Jo Ackers was reassured, stating “we are fortunate to be insured and have not had any problem”, before warning of the other side of the coin, pointing out that “there are some businesses on the seafront that don’t have insurance”. If you are responsible for your business, how would a loss of £20000, or even a few thousand pounds affect your outlook?
Insurance tailored to your needs
Policies can be adapted to ensure that an act of nature isn’t the nightmare scenario you may envisage, for example business interruption insurance can aid you recovering from the consequences of unforeseen impacts on your livelihood. Afterall, it’s not only a short term loss that can occur as a result of flooding, the impact could be felt in the weeks and months ahead as you strive to restore your services to the level you previously worked so hard to achieve. Your insurance could help cover both your costs and loss of earnings over this period. Whether your trade is in coffee or cars, hair or horticulture, I recommend BJP Insure to provide the cover you need to survive in times of trouble.
Preparing for the future
You may have escaped the deluge on this occasion, but there’s no guarantee the rain won’t come again. The MET Office believes that winter rainfall is likely to increase in the future, , suggesting that the scenes across the UK this winter may not be the last time we see water impacting so strongly on our lives. And whilst you may be sitting pretty on high ground, if you depend on customers or suppliers that may not be so lucky, the storms could affect you in ways you don’t anticipate. With affordable and adaptable insurance solutions available, is it worth taking the risk that your business will survive another scare, or is it time you got not only your house, but your place of work in order too?
This article is written by Patrick Leach, who writes extensively on the topic of business insurance and litigation.