Commonly Overlooked Commercial Flood Risks

Flooded Street with Umbrella

Recent examples of flooding in the Baltimore metro region and around the country have demonstrated the importance of commercial flood insurance— even if your business is outside of a flood zone. Just because it is not located in an area considered “high risk” for flooding does not mean it is not vulnerable. Some statistics from FEMA demonstrate the flood risks to local businesses.

  • Thirty percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low- to moderate-risk areas.
  • Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.
  • Flood losses in the United States averaged $2.4 billion per year for the last decade.
  • Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to property.
  • New construction can increase flood risk, especially if it changes natural runoff paths.

A resource and slideshare shared by Travelers Insurance demonstrates six overlooked commercial property flood risks that elevate the risk and shares some tips for addressing those risks.

Surface Water - Sewer backups and poor drainage can cause flooding far away from bodies of water.

  • Install a backwater prevention valve. 
  • Elevate all stored all water-damageable materials.

Storm Surges - High tides driven by storm winds may cause flooding in lower-risk areas.

  • Provide barriers or eliminate low-lying doors and other openings.
  • Create a business continuity plan to maximize recovery and minimize loss.

Levees & Dams – Poorly maintained dams can cause catastrophic damages downstream.

  • Determine if local agencies have a flood warning system in place.
  • Develop an emergency response plan.

Changing Topography – New construction and pavement alter drainage paths, creating floods where they did not exist previously.

  • Assess your risk regularly.
  • Have tools on-hand to combat floodwater (sandbags, etc.).

Equipment Damage – Water-damaged equipment can interrupt business operations.

  • Identify key equipment and document protection plans.
  • Determine the availability of a total replacement and spare parts.

Extreme Weather – Increase in higher-intensity hurricanes across the country.

  • Develop a contingency plan that includes a business impact analysis.
  • Adopt controls for prevention and mitigation.

Contact a trusted RCM&D advisor to discuss your commercial flood and other property risks today.