Spring Risk Management guidance

Welcome to spring

How can you take precautions to protect your business against risks you could encounter in the spring? Our risk consultants have brought together key resources and developed guidance to help you to identify potential risks and prepare for the challenges this season can bring.

Chris Andrews, Director of Risk Management Solutions

"As we head into spring, we consider some of the seasonal risks that your business may face. Prevention has never been more important than it is now in helping protect your business and your people. We hope you find this information useful in helping manage the risks that this season brings."

How can you prepare for the months ahead?

Ines Wade, Senior Claims Service Manager and Justin Linney, Head of Risk Management Solutions, discuss what you can do to review your risk management practices and to consider how seasonal related risks could impact your business.

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Transcript  for video Spring Risk Guidance

JUSTIN LINNEY: Hi, I am Justin Linney and I'm joined by Ines Wade. And we're going talk about some of the seasonal impacts that affects our customers and how we can support them. Ines with spring, thankfully on its way, and hopefully some warmer and brighter weather we must also consider some of the risks that some of our clients and businesses see and also how we can help mitigate them. Can you give me some examples of spring related issues we see this time of year?


INES WADE: As you say, Justin, really pleased that the winter months are over but we are, even with us going into the spring months with climate change, we are seeing those storms continue into the spring and therefore floods happening across the uk. But we're also seeing escape of water claims through people doing renovation projects on their houses and on their commercial properties as well. All the different liability issues with contractors as well and the claims that come off the back of that.


JUSTIN LINNEY: That's right Ines, and its from a flood perspective, last year we saw rainfall 161% of what was typical for that type of year, which obviously led to increased flooding from both surface water and watercourses. With climate change, rising sea levels and the pressure to build on greenfield sites, things are not likely to improve with potential devastating effects for our customers from flooding. Whilst we believe it is important to make properties more resilient to the impacts of weather, it's important also that our customers consider the flood risk potential to their properties and the measures that they can implement.


INES WADE: What measures would you recommend for our customers to ensure that they protect themselves?


JUSTIN LINNEY: Yeah, I think there's some simple things that our customers can do. First and foremost, registering with the, the Environment Agency so they can get alerts when flooding potentially is gonna occur in their area or in the location of their property. But I think the key thing where, where you know that flooding could potentially occur is doing a flood risk assessment and developing a flood response plan. You can actually break down into the plan, understand, where you can actually move some of your key equipment, where you can protect your stock. But having that plan is a swift and quick document that helps you move. There are some really simple things as well that a client can do, in terms of making up a flood kit, you know, making sure that they've got wellies prepared so they can walk in the water if it did hit them quite quickly. Yeah, but also making sure where they've got the flood plan is to have things like sandbags prepared or flood barriers and consider those. But I think longer term it's about how they can protect themselves through, longer term measures, more permanent measures through having non-return valves on sewage systems to prevent water coming through drainage systems or even having a look at long-term flood planning and moving electrics say or services to a higher location to reduce the potential effect from water.


INES WADE: As spring comes around and we see renovation project happening with commercial properties, personal properties, what advice would you have for our customers in terms of some of the liabilities that they face, employers liability (EL), public liability (PL), and anything else that you may suggest from your perspective?


JUSTIN LINNEY: It's really important I think that customers take steps to mitigate against these potential losses from an EL and PL viewpoint, I think probably taking some precautionary steps and, especially when you're using external contractors, is assessing their credibility to do the job, making sure that they've got the insurance, they've got their risk assessments to back up what works, what you are asking them to do. I think also, critically, we see quite a lot of hot work losses.  I think it's important to make sure that they've got a hot work permit that sits behind the assessments that they do and they're following those. And I think as, as a client, I think it's really key that they make sure that the contractor who they're looking after is, is following those steps. I think from a personal perspective, I think it's about making sure you assess what you're going to do and make sure you're taking all of those precautions. From whether it's simple things like going up ladders,  and making sure you're footing the ladders to making sure, if you're using heat or hot works, that you're removing the combustibles, you're making sure that there's no smoking around there etc. And I think one other area, one other key area for me is around the escape of water. I think when you're doing work in the house or in a property that's involving or really in close proximity to pipe work or tanks, you're making precautions to make sure that they're not damaged or they're adequately protected because escape of water is probably one of the biggest areas where you can get quite a lot of damage.


INES WADE: Justin, we've talked about natural and accidental claims.What about malicious claims?


JUSTIN LINNEY: Yeah, indeed. Spring is very much a traditional time for housekeeping and spring cleaning and obviously people are cleaning out their houses and their commercial properties, which generates some more waste and I think it's important that we control that waste. Making sure it's not stored up against the building. Make sure, if it can, be removed immediately after you've been cleared out, that's great. But I think it's also important that, you know, you're, you're allowing for those areas coupled with some of the other measures you might have to protect against arson in terms of perimeter fencing for commercial properties, keeping it out of sight, out of mind. So it's not in the view of potential malicious persons. I think that's key. But again, coupling things with,  the levels of security that you've got on on your building I think is key too, to guard against some of those things as well.


INES WADE: We are seeing the impact of theft, what's the risk management take on that?


JUSTIN LINNEY: So yeah, anytime, um, thefts are a problem for our customers really and it's really important that they stay vigilant to protect their assets and their valuables, from making sure they're in secure places within their buildings, making sure that they've got the appropriate locks,  where they've got intruder alarms, making sure they're set, especially when the premises are empty and if they've got CCTV making sure that's effective. But it's simple things, from domestic to commercial, to making sure that you know, you are, they're the attractive goods, that the assets are kept out of sight, that they're protected and within what we call the protected area, which is really within a building or having some sort of physical or electronic security.


INES WADE: Thank you Justin, for your invaluable insights. I hope our customers are not gonna have to see any of those losses. If they do, I would urge them to review their, 'sums insured' ensuring that they are adequate and if they do need to claim that they report their claims promptly.



Water Leaks

In the UK, a great number of property insurance claims are a result of burst pipes and leaks, causing large costs and business disruption. Reducing the risk of damage to your property, fixtures / fittings, contents, machinery and equipment and IT systems, could avoid interruption to your business. You might also be interested in leak detection solutions and our Specialist Partners, LeakSafe and Waterguard, who provide detection and prevention systems to your premises, which are available to Aviva customers at preferential rates.

Help minimise risks with our Specialist Partners

We have a wealth of experience in helping customers protect their business. As well as insurance, we provide a vast offering of other products and services to help prevent accidents and losses. As an Aviva policyholder, these products and services are available to you at preferential rates, helping you reduce risk in your business. From fire to escape of water, security to motor, health and safety to business resilience – all our partners have an established pedigree in the risk management sector.

Find out more

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https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2023/06/01/relative-lack-of-spring-rainfall-triggers-water-scarcity-alert/ Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

Fire and rescue incident statistics: England, year ending June 2023/ Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0