Insuring against storm and tempest risks

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Weather and acts of nature are by far the most uncertain and unpredictable of risks, and this is particularly true for Britain and the United Kingdom. With renowned rainfall and notoriously unpredictable weather patterns, any business in the UK needs to have adequate and reliable protection from mother nature. Lightning, floods and as the 2008 tremor proved, even earthquakes can all strike at any time with little or no warning. Many areas of Great Britain and Ireland are very familiar with catastrophic inland flooding, coastal flooding and even tornadoes as well as extreme winters that shut down power and cause pipes to rupture. The key is to be prepared ahead of time with the right business property insurance.

In most cases the structure itself is the largest part of any business investment and should be protected accordingly. With the current state of the economy and the uncertainty of the future markets, loss or damage to your structure can easily cripple your operations or stop them completely. As many UK residents and business owners already know, the weather in the United Kingdom is fickle at best. The Great Storm of 1987 caused and estimated 2 billion in damages and in 2007 much of Ireland and the Midlands suffered extreme rainfall and flooding damaging hundreds of structures and disrupting communications, power and transportation. The UK was hit hard again with widespread flooding in 2009. The London tornado affected over 100 individual properties and again disrupted power and communications. Colder winter temperatures are causing more and more piping systems to fail prematurely, and these are just the more common events.

Along with the present risks, there is the fact that evidence is pointing towards worse to come. Many theories exist from global warming to pollution and the ozone, but the bottom line is the weather is becoming more extreme and intense storms are becoming more frequent. What is known as open peril or multiple peril property and building insurance is designed to protect you in these and other such events resulting in loss or damage to your property and the contents. This type of coverage is called open or multiple peril because it usually provides protection over a range of causes for loss, which would be named in the policy itself. While this is a great general form of protection for some weather and acts of nature, they do have conditions and exclusions. In addition to this type of coverage, many organizations combine a named peril policy for specific events. For example, if you know the area your business is located in is prone to flooding you can provide flood protection on top of, or as a supplement to your general coverage. This is particularly important for higher risk locations and older structures that are more susceptible to extreme weather.

Just as important as having the right protection is to have the right amount. Many types of coverage exist from those that pay an estimated value with no appreciation or depreciation to those that do. Repair and reconstruction costs can rise over time, and some insurers provide for this increase with a higher payout. One of the best rules when considering protection is to become aware of what weather and natural events your area is prone to, and take deliberate steps to safeguard against them as well as obtaining coverage for them. Knowing your area has a history of extreme cold, regular maintenance on the piping to prevent freezing would be the logical response, and by taking a pro-active approach you can identify your needs, reduce your risks and possibly lower your insurance costs.

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