July 23, 2012 01:00 ET

Swinton Commercial Advice for Businesses: What to Do in the Event of a Flood

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - July 23, 2012) - UK business insurance broker Swinton Commercial is offering advice to businesses on minimising damage caused by flooding, after new reports show that unrelenting bad weather in Britain is costing UK businesses millions of pounds every day.

A new report by the Association of British Insurers published last week revealed that flooding caused by recent freak UK weather is seeing insurance companies paying out an average of £17m a day for property damage.

Reports show that thousands of businesses across the UK have been affected by the recent weather and more could suffer with no end to the wet weather in sight.

Swinton Commercial is offering businesses advice on what to do after a flood to help minimise the impact on your business and your livelihood, including:

  1. When in contact with flood water, always make sure you are protected by wearing face masks and waterproof clothing, gloves and footwear, as flood water can contain sewage, animal waste and chemicals.
  2. It is important to turn off the electricity supply at your business in the event of a flood. This however must be carried out by a qualified electrician, as due to flood damage, it could be extremely dangerous.
  3. To begin drying your property, turn your heating on and set the temperature between 20 - 22 degrees centigrade. Do this only if you have oil or gas heating that has been checked by a qualified engineer.
  4. If you are using a pump and a generator to get water out of your business, make sure the generator is outside as they produce carbon monoxide fumes which can be fatal.
  5. To reduce the risk of further structural damage to your business, wait until the water has subsided to a level lower than inside your property before pumping out water.
  6. If there is any mud/debris built up against the walls of your property, clear it away to reduce pressure building and causing further damage.
  7. After your business property has dried out, the cleaning process can commence, this can be done with household cleaning products.
  8. When using hoses to clean, harmful residue from the flood can be moved into the air, always use a garden hose rather than a high pressure hose, to reduce the risk of this.
  9. When drying out your property with a dehumidifier keep doors and windows closed.
  10. It's also worth checking with your broker what damaged items are covered within your policy.

Brian Greenfield, Chartered Insurance Broker at Swinton Commercial, said: "Thousands of businesses across the UK have been affected by flooding in the last few weeks, and many more are expected to suffer. It's therefore essential that you know what to do in the event of your business flooding, which can help to minimise damage to both your property and your livelihood.

"It's always a good idea to check your business insurance policy as a starting point in the event of a flood. If you need to make a claim, it's a good idea to make a record by photographing any damage to your business premises, equipment and goods. Always check with your business insurance company before you start salvaging goods and repairing damage. They can often recommend suitable tradesmen to help you, and may be willing to make an interim payment to help you get your business going again as quickly as possible. Local authorities usually provide skips and extra rubbish collections for items that your insurance company has agreed you can throw away."

Notes to Editors:

About Swinton Commercial:

As one of the UK's leading commercial insurance brokers, Swinton Commercial has the expertise and industry knowledge to provide you with highly competitive business insurance that's tailored to your needs.

With 34 branches across the UK, including 19 regional centres, Swinton Commercial has quickly established itself as the UK's local broker, offering a dedicated team of advisors with specialist industry knowledge in many sectors.

Your local Commercial Account Executive has an in-depth understanding of the insurance market in your area and will arrange a face-to-face appointment with you, taking the time to thoroughly understand your business and its specific requirements.

We cater for most types of business - from small start-ups to well-established organisations, comparing quotes from leading UK insurers to find you the right level of insurance, at the right price.

What's more, our award-winning offering has over 80,000 business customers - and we're growing fast.

Visit www.swintoncommercial.co.uk for more information or call 0800 954 3802.

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