The recent flooding across Lancashire and Greater Manchester has hit many small businesses hard.
Sara Beaumont, partner at Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall Solicitors, offers a step-by-step guide of actions business owners should take in the immediate aftermath of a flood to aid any insurance claims, getting businesses back up and running as quickly as possible.
While most businesses will have insurance to cover the costs of spoiled stock and damage caused by flooding, as well as the work required to reinstate properties, business owners shouldn’t sit back and wait for the insurers to arrive. Most insurers will expect a business to take steps at an early stage to minimise the damage caused.
- Notify your insurance broker (or insurer if a broker was not used) of the damage, who should be able to provide you with advice and assistance.
- Take photographs of the damage. This will help to identify the extent of the damage and assist any insurance claims.
- Any stock and equipment which is undamaged should be moved to a separate area to avoid any contamination from damaged stock. If there is a risk of further flooding then move undamaged goods to higher ground if possible.
- Try to ventilate the premises as much as possible to assist drying out and prevent mould growth.
- Take whatever measures necessary to begin the clean-up of your premises. If you require specialist assistance in dealing with the clean-up operation, advice can be obtained from the British Damage Management Association.
- You should not dispose of anything which may be salvageable, however you must keep a record and take photographs of anything which is disposed of.
- Keep a separate record of all expenditure incurred relating to the flood, for example clean-up costs, as this will assist when submitting a final claim to your insurers.
If you find yourself in a situation where your insurers are refusing to pay out on your claim then Woodcocks Haworth and Nuttall’s solicitors are here to help. WHN’s commercial litigation team has successfully recovered funds for claims worth over £1m in cases where insurers had initially refused to pay out.
If you require advice on making an insurance claim following the flooding of your business premises, contact Sara Beaumont on 0161 761 4611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org