Winter risk management guidance

Welcome to winter

What are the key risks that you and your business could face during the winter? From extreme weather damaging buildings and dangerous driving conditions, to keeping your buildings dry during the cold months. Seeing how prepared you are for potential challenges and what further steps are needed to make sure your business isn’t left out in the cold this winter.

Chris Andrews, Director of Risk Management Solutions

“Winter, while a beautiful time of year, can also be the most treacherous, where certain risks increase significantly due to the weather conditions. Additional economic pressures and increased risk of underinsurance ever present, reviewing your risk management strategy is particularly important this year. Prevention is key in protecting your business, your people and yourself.”

Adverse weather driving

The winter months bring icy roads, heavy rain, low sun and increased hours of darkness, heightening the risks associated with driving. Understanding the hazards associated with driving for work can help to put measures in place to reduce the likelihood of accidents. Harsh driving conditions could lead to many losses for your business - from injured staff, vehicle damage and breakdowns to impact on deliveries, claims from other road users and longer journey times. 


Flooding can damage property, stock and equipment, and can leave employees and deliveries stranded in affected areas. Businesses are often unable to supply their customers and may not recover to pre-loss levels for a long time. Although you can’t eliminate the risk of flooding, you can take steps to reduce the risks, limit the damage and recover more quickly.

Impact on buildings

Heavy snowfall, freezing temperatures and strong wind chills could cause a lot of damage to your buildings. The weight of snow has the potential to cause roofs, walls and canopies to deflect, bow or collapse. It can impair louvred ventilation systems and roof lights, block roof drainage systems and seal venting systems shut. Fluid-filled services and equipment like sprinkler piping can freeze if left exposed. Melting snow combined with rainfall can easily overwhelm building drainage systems and others in the surrounding area, which can result in localised flooding. 

Slips, trip and falls

Slips, trips and falls can be a common cause of injury at work. In winter, factors such as water, ice and wet leaves further increase the risks both inside and outside the workplace. As well as affecting the individuals involved, these injuries can also impact your business in the form of customer claims, employee absence and bad publicity. 

Supply chain disruption

In recent times businesses have been impacted by global supply chain issues and unprecedented inflation. Understanding the resilience of your suppliers and their potential exposures is important not only for your own business continuity but also from a reputational stand point. Spotting breakdowns in your supply chain network early on can help to ensure products and services are provided as expected.

Storm damage

High winds and heavy rain can cause damage to properties, and flying debris poses a risk to your buildings, vehicles and employees. One line of defence against extreme weather is building maintenance carried out by skilled, competent people. It helps prevent the elements penetrating walls and roofs to cause further damage to stock and interiors, and can stop tiles, signage and other exterior fixtures contributing to flying debris.

Water leaks

Water leaks can cause a large amount of damage and disruption to your business. Knowing what to do if water leaks or a pipe freezes can help to mitigate damage. Even better, you can help to prevent incidents altogether by carrying out checks and maintenance, understanding leak detection technology and making sure your plumbing and isolation points are accessible.


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

Need further help or assistance?

Call our Risk Help Line to speak to our Risk Management Solutions team for help and advice on

0345 366 6666

Opening times: Monday - Friday* 9:00am - 5:00pm

* Excludes Bank Holidays. The cost of calls to 03 prefixed numbers are charged at national call rates (charges may vary dependent on your network provider) and are usually included in inclusive minute plans from landlines and mobiles. For our joint protection telephone calls may be recorded and/or monitored.