What to do if a storm hits your business premises

Winter can be great for business. There’s Christmas, New Year’s, and depending on your product or service, it may even be the busiest time of the year. But winter can also see the UK hit by some fairly nasty weather.

If your premises is hit by a storm it can cause serious damage to your business, so here is our guide on what to do.

Preparing your business premises for storms

Whether you run your business from an office, a storefront or your own home, there are measures you can take to prepare for storms this winter.

If your business premises is in an area of the country that’s liable to flood, it might be worth buying specialist flood defence products. Air bricks, sandbags and pumps are widely available, and could well keep your premises safe.

You can check whether the area you live in is at risk on the Property Care Association’s website.

When it comes to high winds, it’s worth checking that your doors, windows and roof are all in good working order - or asking your landlord to do so if you rent your business premises.

If you keep anything outside - such as tables and chairs at a cafe, or stock in a shed for a home business - it’s worth bringing these in or securing them in place if there’s a storm warning in your area.

Business buildings insurance is essential for anyone who owns their own premises, but even if you don’t, it’s worth knowing that business equipment and stock can also be insured.

Storms can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, so make sure you keep receipts for everything associated with your business in case you need to make a claim.

Steps to take if your business premises is hit by a storm

When a storm hits there are a number of measures you can take to minimise the damage, but your first priority is keeping yourself and your staff safe.

Keep well away from flood water, which can be deceptively powerful, and avoid any contact with water or electrics during an electrical storm. If you have staff, send them home in advance where possible.

If there’s a flood warning, you should fit your flood equipment as soon as you can, and in the event of any kind of storm, make sure you turn off your water, gas and electricity.

If possible, move any equipment or stock you have onto the upper floors of your premises.

Contacting your insurer and making repairs

Only return to your business premises when it is safe to do so, and make sure you take pictures of all the damage to help support your claim. It’s best to contact your insurer as soon as possible to let them know you’ve been hit by a storm as a delay could affect your claim.

If your property has been damaged and you are the owner, your business buildings insurance could cover the cost of the work that needs to be done. Otherwise, you should contact your landlord and inform them of the situation.

Our step-by-step guide to making a claim will take you through the steps you need to take, including contact details for the Simply Business claims team and what to expect once you’ve made your claim.

Have you been affected by the storms? If you’re a Simply Business customer and need to speak to our Claims team, you can call us 24/7 on 0333 207 0560.

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