Business flooded: who should we call before water comes?

The violence of the atmospheric agents that have recently blowed cities, ports, private and public buildings in Europe worries owners of warehouses and production sites. Their main question is:“Are we insured against flood? Who pays the business interruption damages?”

The graph here below is eloquent:

 

 

Torrential rains and adverse weather conditions are day by day more and more frequent. Here are some useful suggestions for production sites owners.

Risk assessment: have I a trusted advisor to protect my business?

Having business insurance is not always enough. On the contrary, purchasing a policy -when suddenly floods, storms, tornadoes, flooding affect our activity -is often the least of their problems.

Before to by any insurance, let’s try to answer to these 7 questions:

  1. have I taken already sufficient security measures to prevent flood risk?
  2. are the machineries and the warehouse enough protected against flood?
  3. are there rivers and streams nearby that can overflow my company unexpectedly?
  4. are the employees exit routes correctly reported?
  5. have I ever made any for risk assessment in my plant?
  6. who is the risk advisor to whom I can trust to prevent losses in my business?
  7. in case of flooding, who is my representative able to protect my economical interests in front of the insurance company?

Insurance companies need to know their customers better and better and unfortunately the insurance questionnaire, which we fill in before receiving an offer, is not enough.

Before signing a policy, or before the insurance renewal, it is suggested to hire experts in prevention and safety able to:

1. take a live view of the physical places where our goods are located,

2. advise on which risks to reduce (both physical, to structures, and financial from interruption of activity).

Flood: 3 simple steps to protect our business.

INERIS, the French institute for the prevention of industrial risks, suggests a simple but effective list of things to do to reduce flood hazards.

1. Identifying the surrounding environment. The first step is to understand if the production site is near an area at risk of flooding. In case it is, it is necessary to provide some information, such as: the possibility of overflowing rivers, the presence of dams or aquifers, average water velocity, flood duration, water withdrawal. These data can be provided by the local authorities together with a graphical representation of the company and its surroundings, as follows:

2. Identification of machineries and goods at risk. On the basis of the information received, it is suggested to indicate, within the company perimeter, which machineries and other goods are at risk of flooding. Here is another example:

List of the main solutions. Every company is different. However, the basic prevention measures against floods and flooding are in principle the following:

  1. construction of protective closing doors for equipment and machinery of particular value,
  2. reinforcement on the ground of tanks and silos containing flammable, toxic or other polluting substances,
  3. displacement of electrical machinery, computer systems and distribution of electrical energy above the walkable floor of the shed (normally 12 cm from the ground),
  4. installation of defensive security barriers designed specifically for the production site.

In conclusion: who can we rely on before the plant is flooded?

Before buying a flood insurance, risk assessment is a good investment.

From one side, insurers, collecting more informations on ground, are able to calculate properly the cost of the policy. In the absence of losses for a short period (from 3 to 5 years), we can achieve a big reduction of insurance premium.

From the other, in case the flood has blowed our business, loss adjusters will be able to liquidate the damage with precision and accuracy.

However, in order to obtain these two important advantages, it is necessary to identify our trusted risk advisor able to interface between insurers and adjusters.

Protecting our assets and ensuring the recovery of activity remains a priority.

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