Managing flood risks: preparation and response

Managing flood risks: preparation and response

With winter upon us and the prospect of wetter weather setting in, is your business fully equipped to handle an emergency flood situation? Sally Swann Head of Midlands, UK Retail at JLT Specialty, provides a few tips on how to manage flood risks, both before and after the event.

The devastating storm floods that swept the North of England in December 2015 resulted in insurance payouts of more than £1.3m. Though much of the media attention rightly focused on the damage caused to people’s homes and lives, emergency payments exceeding £15m were made by insurers to help businesses cover staff salaries and the costs of alternative premises. 

Whilst we cannot stop Mother Nature, JLT Specialty can help businesses to prepare for such events like flood disasters. A rigorous business continuity plan can ensure that, if flooding does occur, damage and business interruption can be minimised. This plan should include actions to be taken before as well as after any potential flooding:

Before a flood:

  • Assess flood risk in your area
  • Install physical flood defences if necessary
  • Design a thorough business continuity plan
  • Obtain adequate property and business interruption cover
  • Ensure stock and machinery is stored in compliance with the terms of your insurance policy

After a flood:

  • Ensure gas and electricity supply is turned off
  • Contact your broker
  • Initiate business continuity plans
  • Communicate with customers
  • Take precautions when re-entering the building
  • Assess damage and clean up with help from loss adjuster
  • Take photographic evidence of the damage
  • Employ professional drying/disinfection company

If you are concerned that your business may be vulnerable to flooding this winter or you would like assistance with managing flood risks, please contact Sally Swann at JLT Specialty on 0121 633 3377 or email