August 06, 2012 01:00 ET

Swinton Commercial Advises Business Owners on How to Claim Against Flood Damage

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 6, 2012) - Swinton Commercial, one of the UK's leading business insurance brokers, is offering valuable advice to businesses looking to make a claim for flood damage after heavy rain blighted the country in recent weeks.

It is estimated that wet weather and flood conditions have caused around £35 million worth of damage to properties across the UK, leaving thousands of businesses in deep water and unable to return to work.

Studies show that businesses based in the East Midlands, north-east and north-west have been worst affected by the floods, having to cover costly repairs, as well as financial losses incurred through replacing damaged stock and delays to trading which can last for weeks or months.

With this in mind, Swinton Commercial is offering the following tips to businesses looking to make an insurance claim as a result of flood damage to their business premises:

- Report any damage to your insurer as soon as possible in order to speed up the claims process - they may even be able to provide an interim payment to cover emergency repairs. Check your documents carefully to ensure you adhere to any specified time limits for reporting damage.

- Salvage important documents such as your business insurance policy and inventory of key possessions as you will need these when filing your claim.

- Check your business insurance policy. It's a good idea to read your insurance policy thoroughly to make sure you have a clear idea of exactly what your policy covers you for. If in doubt, discuss with your insurance broker.

- Make a record of flood damage so that you can provide your loss adjuster with the evidence they need to process your claim. Take photos/video the damage, mark the highest flood water level in each room with a marker pen, and make a detailed record of all the damage to your premises and equipment. You should also provide your insurer with any relevant receipts or bank statements as proof of ownership.

- Do not attempt to clean up your premises or discard damaged items until your insurer has been informed of the damage. If the damage is from food or perishable goods for hygiene reasons it will be necessary to wipe up the mess, but store damage items away somewhere close for inspection. Providing your insurer with this evidence will speed up the claims process and help to prevent additional financial losses as a result of trading being stopped for lengthy repairs.

- If assistance is needed in preparing your claim consider getting an independent appraisal for repair costs, replacement stock and equipment ahead of time to prepare for all eventualities.

Brian Greenfield, Chartered Insurance Broker at Swinton Commercial, said: "It is crucial that business owners provide their insurer with everything they need to process their claim quickly, which will help them to minimise disruption to their businesses.

"Policyholders should check their business insurance documents so that they know what they are covered for and ensure that all evidence of the damage is given to their insurer. Failure to provide your insurer with this information may delay your claim, increasing the disruption to your business and resulting in further financial losses."

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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