Storm damage and your business
Storms can prove costly to businesses for a variety of reasons. They can damage buildings and contents resulting in repair or replacement costs and can temporarily prevent your business from operating.
How do I know if I'm insured against storm damage?
Each of the negative impacts listed below is covered by a different type of insurance – so it’s important to check whether your policy or policies include the right elements.
If your business premises are damaged, this will be covered by your buildings insurance policy.
If you rent the property your business operates in, this is your landlord’s responsibility.But, if you own the premises, you’ll need to take out a buildings insurance policy to be covered against storm damage.
Damage to equipment or stock
Anything contained in your business premises, but which are not part of the structure or permanent fixtures of the building, are covered separately by your contents insurance policy.
This covers your stock and any equipment you might have on the premises, including things like fridges, washing machines computers or IT servers.
As a general rule, any fixtures that you have fitted and paid for are your responsibility to insure or replace, whether you own or rent the premises.
Both buildings and contents insurance fall under the area of Commercial Property Insurance.
Stopping your business from operating
This is one of the main ways in which storms can impact your business. You can cover yourself against this risk by taking out business interruption insurance.It is often offered as an extra when you buy buildings or contents insurance and it covers lost earnings and increased running costs suffered as a result of the event.
Do I need storm damage cover?
Unlike employer's liability insurance, it is not a legal requirement to insure your business premises or contents – or to take out business interruption insurance. However, you should still consider covering yourself against the significant costs you could be faced with if a storm hits.
What damage can a storm do to my business?
Storm damage to property is common and can happen for a wide variety of reasons, including:
- Buildings or goods damaged or destroyed by falling trees
- Roof tiles displaced by high winds
- Roofs or walls damaged by build-up of snow
- Walls being blown over
- Leaks caused by heavy rain
- Windows being broken by flying debris
- In extreme cases, roofs being blown off or whole buildings falling down in high winds
There are also many ways that storms can harm your profits or result in additional running costs, including:
- Storm-related power or communication cuts
- Access issues resulting from storm damage. For example, if weather conditions or a clean-up operation prevents customers or staff getting to or entering your premises
- Late or missed deliveries as a result of weather conditions
1. According to research from the Federation of Small Business, two thirds of small business have been negatively affected by bad weather in the past three years.
2. Following the storms of winter 2015/16, insurers paid out more than £15 million to business customers in the UK across more than 5,000 claims.
3. Storms can cause widespread power cuts. On 10 January 2015, over one million people across the North East of Scotland were left in the dark – many for several days – after power lines were toppled by a storm.
Find out more about our business insurance policies
Published: 8th February 2017
More storm guides
Preparing your business for a storm
Bad weather causes significant cost to UK businesses every year, and the most extreme weather events – especially powerful windstorms – can cause extensive damage to buildings and other property.