Biba warns SMEs to implement business plans after freak earthquake hits Kent

Following the freak earthquake in Folkestone last weekend, the British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has again highlighted the need for businesses to plan for the unexpected.

It will take months for a full assessment of the damage to become known. However, already an estimated 1,500 properties have been affected in Folkestone.

Brokers and insurers have acted quickly to assist those businesses and residents following the earthquake. Local residents and businesses are now dealing with the after-effects from superficial damage such as cracks in skirting boards and plaster falling from walls, to damage caused by masonry falling on cars, collapsing chimneys and major structural damage to commercial property.

BIBA has been campaigning since the beginning of the year for small businesses across the UK to plan effectively for the unexpected. Populus research commissioned by BIBA has revealed that over half of small businesses do not have a formal business continuity plan in place, and Government figures suggest nearly one in five businesses suffer a major disruption every year. Further research suggests 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close down within 18 months.

Commenting on the incident in Folkestone, Graeme Trudgill, technical services manager at BIBA said: “This event shows that the unexpected can happen anywhere and that businesses need to be prepared. Good planning will ensure that freak events don't cause lasting damage to their business.

“We would strongly urge all businesses across the UK to check their policies and seek advice through their broker to ensure they are properly covered.”