Aviva urges businesses to manage flood risk

Article date: 9 July 2010

Aviva is to include flood advisory leaflets in its commercial renewal packs as part of its campaign to protect commercial policyholders from the impact of flooding.

From 1 July, hard-copy leaflets giving advice on how to mitigate the risk of flooding will be sent to the majority of Aviva commercial customers with their renewal documents. The leaflet can also be downloaded by brokers from Aviva’s website at http://broker.aviva.co.uk/.

The UK’s largest insurer uses a sophisticated flood-prediction model to assess the level of risk a particular property may face and ensure that premiums reflect the flood risk to the individual property, rather than it being rated against a less accurate post code.

Ian Shelley, technical manager (property) at Aviva, said: “Helping our customers to better understand the risk posed by flooding to their business, and the measures which can be taken to reduce them, is vitally important to us.

“While it may not be possible to eliminate the risk of flooding altogether, many practical steps can be taken to reduce the risk of flood damage, particularly if a business is in a high risk area.”

According to the ABI, at least 2.5 million properties in England and Wales are at risk of flooding from rivers or the sea - and more than one million of these are also at risk of surface water flooding. A further three million properties are susceptible to surface water flooding.

With the effects of climate change likely to increase flood risk in the UK even further, brokers should be advising their clients to be aware of this risk and taking the necessary steps.

Shelley continued: “Our flood advice leaflets will give commercial clients general guidance on flood issues and also keep the threat front of mind. Although flooding may not seem an immediate threat, all businesses should be acting to mitigate the risks. It is always wise to prepare for the worst rather than wait until it is too late – the floods in Cumbria last year show how devastating they can be.”

Advice in the leaflet ranges from subscribing to flood alert warnings and investing in local property flood protection devices, to moving expensive equipment to less vulnerable parts of the premises. Businesses are also urged to incorporate specific flood contingency elements in business continuity plans to minimise disruption and improve speed of recovery.

At an industry-wide level, Aviva is working with the ABI to review its statement of principles on floods and put pressure on the Government to maintain funding for flood defences going forward.


For further information, please contact:
Patrick Chester at Staniforth on 0161 919 8011 or Vicki Burn from Aviva’s press office on 01603 684224 / 07800 692909.

Notes to editors:

Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009.  

We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe.  

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.aviva.com/media/video/.  

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2008


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