Simplifying flood risks: helpful guidance for customers

  • Flooding is an increasingly important problem for UK organisations
  • Customers can be confused about the conflicting information and advice available
  • Zurich Municipal has produced an easy-to-follow guide that can act as a single information resource for customers

Millions of households and organisations across the UK are at risk of flooding. Recent years have seen some particularly devastating floods, with many experts anticipating problems will increase in the coming decades.

In November 2014, the Environment Agency reviewed the flood risk around the English coastline from high waves, saying some of its existing maps may underestimate the risks to coastal communities. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has also noted the increasing risk, committing to a six-year programme of capital investment to improve defences, with more than £370m earmarked for 2015/16, rising to over £400m in 2020/21.

Flooding has the potential to affect organisations wherever they are and whatever their capacity. Every organisation can be affected by flooding – whether directly or indirectly. But by taking a structured and considered approach to the issue, customers can help avoid unexpected consequences.

With a wealth of information available from a range of sources, it can be difficult to know what specific information to look for and exactly where to find it.

To help combat this, Zurich Municipal has produced an easy-to-follow Risk Insight Guide on Floods for its customers. The guide summarises the key information on preparing for, and dealing with, floods, and gives clear actions to follow.

1. Assessing your risk of flooding

Rivers and seas are not the only source of flooding. More unpredictable sources, such as surface water flooding, can cause large-scale damage.

There are a number of complex factors that can impact your degree of flood risk, and the vulnerability of a property and its occupants.

Knowing how to assess your risk of flooding is very important if the appropriate measures are to be taken to mitigate this risk.

2. Protecting your organisation

There are a number of different approaches, and a variety of products, that can help protect against flooding. Whether a particular approach is suitable for your organisation is highly dependent on the property and its surroundings.

For example, few may appreciate that actually allowing water to enter the property, in certain circumstances, can help prevent major structural damage – minimising recovery time and the financial implications.

It is therefore important to properly assess a property’s unique risk profile, before deciding on a particular preventative measure.

3. Getting early warnings

Signing up to an early warning system can grant valuable time to prepare for a flooding event. These free services can notify you via various means, and help to reduce the distress and financial impact of a flood event.

4. Advance planning

There is no substitute for being prepared when the worst happens. Making a ‘Flood Plan’ is one of the best ways an organisation can help mitigate the effects of flooding.

Flood warnings should act as a vital trigger to this plan. Warnings will vary in severity and organisations need to know how they will react to each scenario.

Anticipating the situation, knowing the actions to be taken, and specifying who will undertake them, will ensure a coordinated and effective response.

5. Getting help if a flood occurs

Zurich Municipal makes sure customers are assured that a team of experts is on hand to help them with every step of the recovery process.

Zurich Municipal’s claims experts will project manage your claim from the very beginning, so customers should speak to them before carrying out any significant mitigation or recovery actions.

There is certain information that can help expedite a claim and make the process simpler for all parties involved. The Risk Insight Guide on Floods helps explain the actions that can be taken when the worst occurs, and the information that can help facilitate a speedy recovery.

Getting up to speed on flood risks

Approaching the risk of flooding in a structured way can help avoid unexpected consequences, mitigate disruption and minimise the financial impact.

Zurich Municipal’s Risk Insight Guide on Floods provides customers with a single information resource that will make all the difference when flooding occurs.

Zurich Municipal’s Risk Engineering team also has a wealth of experience in helping customers approach the risk of flooding, so please get in touch if you would like to find out more.

Find out more and access helpful guides and insight with our new Flood Risk Resource.