Small firms 'should be able to access affordable flood cover'

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Business flood insurance should be more affordable for small firms

In the wake of the latest widespread flooding seen across the country, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is now calling for increased access to affordable flood insurance for smaller firms.

Following the heavy rains and storms that struck over the festive period, countless businesses have been devastated as a result rising water levels, but in many cases company leaders have been unable to secure compensation for their losses due to a lack adequate flood insurance for their operations.

Research from the FSB showed that nine per cent of small business operators located in flood-risk areas of the UK faced difficulties in taking out appropriate cover in the last 12 months, while six per cent stated they had been refused insurance altogether.

Overall, this equates to approximately 75,000 smaller businesses across the UK facing difficulties in finding affordable insurance and 50,000 being refused.

National chairman of the FSB John Allan commented: "This is a longstanding issue. As ministers and the insurance industry plan to bring in a new Flood Re scheme to back those refused cover, FSB has expressed its deep concern to ministers and the insurance industry that the smallest businesses will now be excluded.

"Much like households, micro-businesses are those least able to negotiate competitive insurance. When the new scheme is introduced in April 2016, FSB now calls for the smallest businesses to be included."

He added that a lack of appropriate insurance cover can mean the end of a business when disaster strikes and it is therefore an issue that can affect not only individuals, but whole communities.

Ensuring that the UK's smallest firms are able to successfully rebuild after the devastation of flooding must therefore be a priority in the months and years to come.