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Flood damage insurance: a guide for landlords and businesses

4-minute read

Jade Wimbledon

17 February 2017

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If your shop, business premises or rental property were flooded, the damage could be expensive to fix. We’ll run through the insurance that can cover you in the case of flood damage.

What is flood damage insurance?

If you want to cover your rental property or business premises for flood damage, there’s no specific ‘flood damage insurance’, but flooding is one of the risks that’s covered by property insurance covers like buildings insurance and contents insurance.

For example, if the structure of your business premises or rental property was damaged by floodwater, the cost of repairing it could be covered by your buildings insurance. If your furniture and appliances suffered flood damage, your contents insurance could cover the cost of repair or replacement.

There are other things you may want to protect from the possibility of flood damage too. For example if you run a shop, you may want to take out stock insurance, which can pay to replace your stock if it’s damaged by a disaster like a flood.

There’s also business interruption insurance to consider if you run a business, and loss of rent cover if you’re a landlord. These insurance types can cover your lost income if you have to stop trading or your tenants have to move out because of flood damage or another disaster.

What does flood damage insurance cover?

Insurance that includes flood damage can cover the cost of repairing, replacing or rebuilding property that’s been damaged by flooding.

Each insurer will have slightly different definitions and restrictions, but in general ‘flooding’ includes escape of water from the sea, a lake, river, canal etc. and flooding caused by heavy rain. You’ll usually be covered for flood damage caused by something like a burst pipe or a broken tank as well.

Flood damage insurance for landlords

Landlord buildings insurance can cover the cost of rebuilding or restoring your buy-to-let property if it’s damaged by a flood.

If you’re not responsible for insuring the building - for example the rental property’s a flat and the freeholder insures the building - you can take out landlord fixtures and fitting insurance instead, which would cover your fixtures and fittings in the event of flood damage.

If you provide contents to your tenants - furniture and appliances, for example - then you may want to take out landlord contents insurance, which can pay to replace your contents in the event of a flood or another disaster.

It’s important to understand that your tenants’ possessions won’t be covered by your contents insurance; your tenants need to take out their own insurance if they want to protect their things.

You can also choose to add loss of rent cover to your policy. This can cover your lost rent if your tenants have to move out because of an insured event like a flood.

Should you want to set up these covers, you can combine them all into one single landlord insurance policy

Flood damage insurance for businesses

Business buildings insurance can cover the cost of rebuilding or restoring your shop, restaurant or business premises if it’s affected by flood damage.

If you rent your business premises, it’s usually your landlord who is responsible for insuring the building, but you can take out tenants’ improvements insurance if you want to cover any parts of the property you’ve modified.

You can take out business contents insurance to cover your contents (business equipment or furniture, for example) in the case of flood damage and other disasters.

There’s also stock insurance, which can pay to replace your stock if it’s damaged by something like a flood.

And if the flood damage meant that you had to stop trading for a period of time, business interruption insurance could cover your lost income.

When you're ready to set up your insurance, you can combine all these covers into a single, exhaustive business insurance policy

Insurance for other weather damage

Covers like buildings insurance, contents insurance and stock insurance can cover other weather damage too, like damage caused by a storm.

It’s important to understand that your insurance can cover damage caused by sudden weather events, but it won’t cover weather damage caused over a long period of time, for example water damage because your roof leaks every time it rains.

Each policy will differ in terms of what’s covered and what’s not, so check your policy documents carefully to make sure you’re clear.

How to make a flood damage insurance claim

Should you need to make a flood damage insurance claim, you should contact us as soon as possible, either online, by email or over the phone on 0333 207 0560.

You'll then be assigned a dedicated claims handler who will work with you on the details of your claim. We know it can be a stressful process, especially as you also have to deal with the fallout of the flood, so your handler is there to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

You'll need to provide us with the details of your claim and the necessary supporting documentation, but don't worry, your claims handler will guide you through the process and let you know exactly what you need to provide. After that, your claim will be reviewed, and all successful claims are paid out within 24 hours.

Do you have any more questions about flood damage and insurance? Ask away in the comments!

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