The insurtech MGA revealed the findings from its latest report as part of its risk awareness campaign – Flood February set to target commercial lines brokers 

Nearly three quarters (71%) of businesses are aware of their flood risk, but less than half (44%) agree that they have comprehensive flood cover.

This is according to FloodFlash’s Commercial Risk Report 2021, which revealed that more than half (60%) of businesses it surveyed with moderate to significant flood risk struggle to find affordable cover.

With around 1.6m buildings in Britain having some sort of commercial use, the report found that the group that struggled the most with flood insurance were also concerned about their business continuity – compared to only 14% with a low flood risk.

FloodFlash chief executive and co-founder, Adam Rimmer said: “Only 44% of the businesses we surveyed claim to have comprehensive flood cover.

“No insurer or broker should be comfortable with that statistic – and it’s one that needs to change. The first part of dealing with a risk is knowing the threat is poses to your business. That’s what the risk report is for.” 

The insurtech MGA’s report is part of its risk awareness campaign – Flood February, which is set to target commercial lines brokers after record breaking claims in January. For example, it paid Storm Christoph claims in January within 9 hours and 44 minutes, beating the previous record of 26 hours and 15 minutes set after Storm Ciara in February 2020.

Redressing the balance

Retail (32%) and industrial (21%) properties make up over half of all commercial properties at risk of flooding.

On the lower side of flood risk were leisure (4%) and hotel (3%), however the report highlighted that these two businesses are among the highest for disruption from these types of claims when coupled with the long-term disruption from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Greater London had 41, 946 the highest number of commercial properties in the 200-year flood zone. This was four times higher than Manchester which came second with 10,024.

Meanwhile three county areas across Britain have more than 30% of commercial properties are risk within a 200-year flood zone, these include East Riding, Yorkshire (37%), Merthyr Tydfill (36%) and Neath Port Talbot (34%).

Coincidentally, London was the most concerned about flooding (32%), followed by the West Midlands (22%) and North West (17%). The South East (9%) and South West (6%) were the least concerned.

Surface water was deemed the biggest flood risk to UK businesses, with 249, 956 under threat.

Under a quarter (18%) of commercial properties in Britain have a moderate or greater risk of flooding.

Ian Bartholomew, FloodFlash’s co-founder said: “When we started FloodFlash we found a lot of insight about flooding in relation to residential property but that very little was known about businesses.

“This report is designed to redress the balance and make sure that the businesses that are so vital to communities across the UK have a similar understanding of their risk. That way they are empowered to do something about it.”

The report used data from FloodFlash’s partners – JBA, Ordnance Survey and the Environment Agency to provide businesses and their brokers with access to the same insight that the insurtech uses to price quotes.