This week has seen heavy rainfall in many parts of the UK with flooding becoming a real risk.
Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North of England are likely to be most at risk, but in previous years we’ve seen devastating flooding in the South West and Essex. If we have a rainy winter, you’re at risk whatever your location.
If you haven’t properly prepared, flooding can be devastating to your business. Not only will it damage goods and prevent you from opening, but there’s also a chance that you’ll be left liable for not sticking to your risk management obligations.
In this blog, we’ve put together some quick advice on preventing flood damage in the first instance, and in reducing the impact if flooding can’t be prevented.
This information isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a start. If you want more detailed advice, you should contact your NDML representative today on 0844 488 9205.
Preparing for a flood
As venue owners and managers, you’re probably regularly checking weather forecasts to see how many customers will venture out that night.
As with any form of weather, preparation and foresight is the key to reducing impact. If you know about a risk of flooding, you can do more to prevent serious damage.
If your venue is in an area prone to flooding, or you’ve heard about heavy rainfall in local weather forecasts, access flood warnings & advice through The Environment Agency or the Flood Warning Information service
If there is a flood warning for your area, you should:
- Move as much contents as possible to higher floors if you have them
- Raise heavy electrical items off the floor and onto bricks
- Unplug electrical/sensitive items and if possible move them high up or store them on higher floors
- Secure any items which are stored externally which might move and cause damage on impact
- Turn off mains supplies and close off flow valves
- Fit a temporary toilet pan seal to prevent the flood water coming back up the toilets
- Keep important documents in watertight plastic bag in a high place or even away from the premises
- Put into place temporary flood barriers for doors & windows
- Stop any deliveries due at the premises
Unfortunately, however hard you try, it’s not always possible to prevent flood damage. Water is unforgiving. If your venue is affected, here’s some advice on making sure you get the right reimbursement.
The aftermath of a flood
- Don’t throw anything away – Keep copies of all letters, emails and faxes you send and receive, and take photographs and video footage of any and all damage to your property. Also get photographic evidence of all equipment (such as machines and other goods covered by your policy).
- Make detailed notes of damage – When you can safely enter your venue, you’ll need to record every detail of the flood damage. Make sure you do not remove or replace any items damaged without prior approval from your insurance company. Instead make detailed notes of all the items which have been affected, being accurate as to the extent of the damage.
- If you can safely get inside your property, mark the height of flood water on the wall with a permanent marker, in all the affected rooms.
- If your insurance covers you for food or perishable goods, make a note of anything you throw away because it has gone off, or is contaminated.
- Keep a record of everything related to your claim
- Keep a detailed record of all correspondence with anyone cleaning up or repairing your leisure establishment. This will help when you speak to your insurance company about your claim. When you make calls note down the follow: who you spoke to, the date of the call or message, the time you made or received any messages, and what was agreed.
- Keep all receipts of any emergency repair work you have done, like fixing electric fittings or other time critical repairs.
But as well as documenting the damage and the impact of the flood, it’s important that you evidence all the risk management measures you took. That means photos and videos of sandbags, heavy goods up on bricks, water pumping etc.
Most importantly, make sure you don’t throw anything away until you have been informed that this is acceptable.
Remember, flooding is a type of damage that is sometimes missing from standard insurance coverage wording, so be sure to clarify this with us (or your insurance broker) if you have any questions or concerns about flood damage to your establishment.
To get in touch with of our experienced and professional staff contact us on 0844 488 9205 or use our contact form to find out how we could provide you with the best possible coverage for your bar, casino, bingo hall and all manner of late night entertainment venues