Even if your business isn’t in an area at high risk for flooding, it’s worth considering whether you need flood insurance coverage. Even minor flooding can cause substantial damage, and there are very few locations that are completely free of the risk of flood. Of course, if you’re located near a river or along the coast, that risk is substantially greater, but whatever your situation, it’s important to make sure your business is fully protected.
Assessing Your Risk
The first things to look at are the actual risk of flooding in your area and where that risk comes from. The truth is that a large or slow-moving thunderstorm can potentially cause flash flooding just about anywhere, and in that case, you’ll want to examine the topography of your area. If you’re at the top of a hill, for example, you may still not incur damage from a flash flood, but you should consider whether or not your business will be interrupted due to lack of access.
If you’re located in a high-risk area for flooding, it’s still important to learn about the dynamics of the type of floods you’re likely to experience. Flooding from a storm surge can inflict very different types of damage when compared to flooding from rising water or from heavy rains associated with a hurricane or tropical storm.
Understanding the kind of flooding your area is likely to experience will allow you to put the proper protections in place to try and mitigate any damage. Some options to consider include installing sewer backflow valves, raising the components of your electrical system, building with flood-resistant materials, and anchoring your fuel tanks, among others. In extreme cases, you may even consider raising up your entire building.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) makes flood insurance available to all individuals and businesses through the National Flood Insurance Program. Even if your business is in a low-risk area, purchasing a policy is a good idea, as recovering from a flood can easily cost your business substantially and even cause you to close permanently in some cases.
FEMA’s policies cover flood damage to your place of business specifically and may not cover damage to surrounding property, vehicles, or losses due to interruption of your business as you recover. There are other business insurance policies available to protect against these types of losses, of course, and so it’s important to understand what each policy covers so you can identify potential gaps and fill them.
If you’d like to learn more about the types of business insurance policies we offer and what we can do to help you protect your company, contact our office today.