As we find ourselves experiencing more extremes of bad weather, this month we’re working with FloodFlash to raise awareness of the flood risk to commercial premises in the UK – and what you can do about it.
Here are five key facts about the risks that flooding poses in the UK:
Fact 1: Commercial property is at higher risk compared to all UK properties
According to research carried out by FloodFlash, 26% of commercial property is at risk of flooding compared to 14% of all property. That difference might not make sense at first, but consider where commercial properties are normally located. Historical access to waterways has meant a lot of commercial properties are built near water sources. Add to this that flat, low-lying land is used for large warehouses and sports grounds and it’s easy to understand why the risk is higher.
Fact 2: 26% of commercial properties in the UK have some level of risk
26% of properties are within a 1,000 year zone or lower. That long time period shouldn’t lead to complacency though. Over a 20 year occupancy of a property the chance of having a flood is approximately 1 in 50. 18% of commercial properties have a significant risk defined as being in a 75 year flood zone. In other words, these properties are likely to flood at least once every 75 years. Over 25 years the chance of a flood is approximately 1 in 3.
Fact 3: Surface water flooding is the biggest threat to property
249,956 British commercial properties are at risk from surface water flooding. This type of flooding is driven by the collection of intense, localised rainfall and may occur in areas which are remote from any rivers or other sources of water. Ignore surface water risks at your peril. Just because you can’t see the source of water it doesn’t mean a property is not at risk.
Fact 4: 53% of all commercial properties at risk are in the retail or industrial sectors
Bad news if you work in retail or manufacturing. They make up 32% and 21% of all commercial properties at risk. They are followed by offices (11%), general use (10%) and utilities (6%). Despite the risk, retail decision makers rarely select flooding as a risk to their business. Similarly only 9% of manufacturing leaders selected flooding when surveyed. Hospitality (19%) and IT and telecoms (20%) are much more likely to worry about the threat that flooding poses.
Fact 5: Young business decision makers are more worried about flooding than their older counterparts
49% of those surveyed under the age of 35 worry about flooding as a threat to their business continuity. Compare this to just 28% for 35-45 year olds, 26% of those between 45-54, and 9% of those over the age of 55. So much for the young and carefree!
All statistics provided from the FloodFlash Commercial Risk Report 2021. If you would like to find out more – download the full report here.
How to use this information to help protect your business from the impact of a flood
- Research your property risk
- Register for flood warnings
- Create a flood plan
- Consider resilience measures
- Arrange event-based flood risk insurance with rapid claims pay-out.