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Are you really covered for flood?

As the dark nights draw in and the golf clubs are stored away for winter, we are already feeling the cold and getting used to the rainy days. Many of us will remember the floods in June 2007 which caused huge problems and hard work for businesses across the region and were of course very costly for insurers, but are you prepared in case it happens again?

Our Broking Director, Beverley Brown, has worked extremely closely with insurers to explain where work on flood defences has been carried out in order to improve the offering of flood cover by insurers, particularly in Sheffield’s Lower Don Valley. Following this work, Insurers are more willing to accept risks in areas which previously suffered flood losses, usually with a higher excess, although unfortunately that is not necessarily the case for everyone, particularly for businesses still seen to be in ‘black’ flood zones. These zones used by insurers do not only refer to flooding from the rivers but also surface water flooding which we are seeing more often due to the heavy downpours we are experiencing.

For those with flood cover, you may assume that in the case of an actual flood, insurers will automatically pay your claim. You do however have to be aware of several conditions you must comply with or exclusions to be aware of if you do require a policy to respond and I strongly recommend you check or ask your broker for advice.

A couple of examples that are included in most of the standard property or combined policies are as follows:

If you have a lot of stock stored at one of your premises there is usually a condition called ‘Stillage Condition’ which requires the business to raise stock a certain height off the ground.

Another example is that many standard property policies exclude damage by flood to fences, gates and possibly most importantly, moveable items in the open. There may be others that are relevant to your business and it is important to make sure you know what you are covered for.

For those without flood cover, it is difficult to obtain cover without moving to a lower rated insurer which could mean your whole portfolio may suffer. However, it is important to ask your insurer if they will consider cover with a much higher excess, as in some circumstances it is possible to purchase separate insurance cover for the flood excess you have accepted. Otherwise, risk management within your business is important and consideration of which floor your server room or electrical items are stored, for example, can help limit the impact of any damage.

To speak to us about flood cover for your business, you can call 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Rachel Storey Dip CIIAccount Executive

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