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Preparing for summer storms

By Lisa Wolfe
Property Underwriting Manager

After enduring a long and very cold winter, it’s easy to anticipate the fun that comes with our long summer days. While there will be much to enjoy, the hot and humid conditions raise the likelihood that when it rains, it will be in short, sharp bursts with little or no warning.

Weather forecasting has improved significantly in the last few years, although there is still little warning of precisely when and where localized severe weather and cloudbursts occur.

In most Canadian properties, the roof and drainage systems are designed to cope with extremes of weather but only if they are in good condition and can work as they are meant to. It isn’t always obvious that systems are becoming overtaxed until it’s too late. Emergency action and intervention at this stage usually has limited impact.

The consequences of water entering commercial property are, at best, inconvenient and in the worst cases, disastrous in terms of business interruption and damage to stock, equipment, fixtures and fittings and general contamination.

In some cases, the amount of rainfall exceeds the capabilities of the drainage systems and despite best efforts, water can get into the building. Planning in advance and taking a few sensible precautions could save disruption and money, should the worst occur.

  • Don’t store stock directly on the floor. Even raising it by 100mm can make all the difference.
  • If you can, avoid storing directly under valley gutters. If not, then try and store lower value, less vulnerable goods in these areas.
  • Electrical, electronic and other sensitive equipment may be directly under potential water entry points. In the short term, think how you can protect it, longer term ask yourself if this is the correct location for it.
  • Check that normal surface water drains and other flow routes are unobstructed.
  • Think about cellars, basements, trenches, pits, loading docks and other low-lying areas. After an extended dry period, water run off paths may be significantly different from the usual routes. If you have had any incidence of water ingress before then be prepared with sandbags or Floodsax.

Free factsheet

Taking some time to carry out a few basic checks and maintenance can significantly reduce the chances of a damaging loss as a result of a sudden storm. To help businesses be more prepared, we’ve produced a free ‘Preparing for summer storms’ factsheet and checklist. You can download it here.

Need to claim? Report it early

Finally, a reminder that if you have an incident and need to make an insurance claim, it’s important that you report it as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Reporting a claim early can save time and help you to receive any claim payments faster, as well as allowing us to help mitigate the cost of third-party claims.


Your Contact

Your Contact

Lisa Wolfe

Lisa Wolfe

Portfolio Manager - Commercial Lines