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Insurer warns business owners to be vigilant

Seasonal storm damage is real threat to business continuity

EARBY-based West Craven Insurance Services is urging business owners to be on their guard over the coming festive break, after Britain has been battered by storms and floods.
West Craven Insurance Service’s Managing Director Ian Clarkson, said: “We’ve all seen the dreadful scenes in Cumbria in recent weeks – with home owners piling ruined furniture in their gardens and front streets. But the cost to businesses is an ongoing matter as storm and flood damage is compounded by interrupted trading.”

Insurance experts at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have calculated that the cost of the recent Storm Desmond, is set to exceed £500m – and may rise significantly if the rain keeps falling.

“My worry is that over the coming few weeks, some businesses will be much more vulnerable, as they close down or operate with a skeleton staff, whilst others will be carrying much larger than usual levels of stock to meet demand for Christmas and the New Year sales ,” added Mr Clarkson.

“Given the increased risk of disruption or damage, we’ve been advising businesses to look again at their commercial insurances. It’s quite understandable that in the recent economic climate, business owners have cut costs and sought cheaper deals on insurance.

“Some of these deals will have been purchased online at a very competitive headline rate, but I worry that they don’t offer the most comprehensive cover – especially if you’re near a water course.

“My fear is that some businesses could be facing a “perfect storm” with insufficient cover and increased flood risk – all at a critical time in the business cycle.

“I’d advise business owners in vulnerable areas to make a “flood plan” and sign up for free flood warnings. There is plenty of good information and help on the environmental agency’s website,” said Mr. Clarkson.

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