More than one million small businesses could be inadequately protected against the long-term effects of flooding and fire, according to an AXA Insurance report.

In a survey of small business owner/managers, less than 24% viewed flooding and fire as `significant' threats to their business.

But the report claims that the majority of businesses affected by such incidents never re-open or cease trading within 18 months.

The report calls on small businesses to review all potential causes and consequences of fire and flooding. Small businesses should ensure they have sufficient business interruption, flooding and fire cover.