Preventing water damage in your business

Damage to a building caused by water coming from within the building is possibly not a risk that is top of mind for many businesses. However, at Guild Insurance we have seen these types of claims steadily rising over the past few years, causing more damage and more disruption than business owners expected.

How does this occur?

Water inundating the premises can be caused by several factors, usually related to faulty or damaged plumbing. The most common culprits are water pipes and flexi hoses either inferior design, becoming old or damaged and consequently bursting with large volumes of water flooding the premises, while another cause, blockages in sinks, also result in water overflow. Ultimately these failures or issues create water havoc and cause significant damage to premises.

These types of incidents can happen in any business or home, though those businesses with a high number of basins and toilets, such as early learning businesses, face greater risk simply due to the number of pipes, hoses and sinks.

What’s the business impact?

Sometimes businesses are not immediately aware that a pipe has burst, particularly if it’s happened over the weekend or on holidays. Unfortunately, that means a lot of water has flowed into the premises before any action taken and more often than not, it means a lot of damage has occurred.

It takes time to completely dry an area that has been inundated with water, often requiring industrial driers which are quite loud to operate. As a result of the noise and disruption, businesses often need to close while the drying out process occurs. As well, high volumes of water can lead to mould issues, forcing businesses to temporarily close while they work to resolve these due to the health & safety risks.

On top of the drying process, there will most likely be furniture and equipment which needs to be repaired or replaced, particularly flooring, which requires clear access to complete.

Risk mitigation

While Guild Insurance prides itself on settling these matters as quickly and stress free
as is possible, insurance can’t mitigate the timing issues described above, which is why at Guild Insurance we believe that prevention is the key and can be achieved by any business with a few simple changes.

All businesses should have a maintenance program that includes routine inspections of the plumbing so that problems can be detected and repaired before an incident occurs. These inspections should be carried out by staff and supported by regular inspections by a licensed plumber.

Businesses should also consider installing automated devices which can protect against water leaks. Some of these devices will shut off the water supply when a leak
is detected, preventing the inundation of water, while others will also notify the
property owner when a leak is detected, meaning the incident can be acted on much
sooner. Business owners are advised to speak to their plumber about what will work
best for their business.

How you can save

By making these simple changes you may be eligible for a discount on your premium,
so talk to your Guild Account Manager today to see how you can save.

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