If your business happens to be located in the area of Middleton, WI, you very likely experienced a flood like we’ve never seen before in this area. During a 24 hour period of time beginning at 7am on Monday, August 20th through 7am on Tuesday August 21st, the Madison/Middleton area received an unofficial record downpour of 13 inches of rain. At some points, rain was coming down at a record pace of 2-4 inches per hour. Nature is amazing, that is until it decides to invade your business. And as a couple of my clients in the area discovered – nature can be very costly too.
Which leads me to this blog post… Do you know if your Commercial Insurance package covers your business for water damage? Turns out for my clients affected by this flood, their policies have ZERO coverage, I mean we are talking upwards to $100,000 in damages per client! Would your business be able to recover from this? Could you replace your inventory, furniture, computers, walls and flooring if nature decided to come inside? Turns out if you just have a standard commercial package, you may not be covered for floods!
Because I’ve never, nor have my clients, needed to use flood coverage, we never realized that unless your business is located in a defined “high flood risk” zone or unless you have a Mortgage – you most likely are not required to carry flood insurance. The only thing that can even possibly help out financially in this situation is if the area gets declared a Federal Disaster then, although the cost is still yours, there is usually assistance programs to help get you loans to help get you back up and running. However, this is still completely coming out of YOUR pocket.
Now, I’m not going to advocate here for any one particular insurance provider because the intricacies of insurance should be left to the Insurance professionals but what I will tell you is that there are policies out there called “Commercial Flood Insurance” that you can buy for your business to cover your Business in the event of a flood. After seeing the damage done to one of my clients businesses, it’s something that would be well worth the added expense to ensure that something like this doesn’t end your business.
What should you do…
- First, get on the phone now with your Insurance Agent and have them determine if you have flood insurance. Do you have coverage for Water Damage at all? Don’t wait until the flood comes to you to ask about if you are covered. That will be too late.
- If it’s determined that you Do NOT have coverage, do a web search for Commercial Flood Insurance. I promise, several names/providers will come up in your search.
- Then ask your Insurance Agent about any/all of these coverages before you buy. Be sure you understand what would and wouldn’t be covered should that creek behind your business become a lake (seriously, that’s exactly what just happened).
I hope this blog turns out to be helpful. We/I never, ever thought that this would happen where it did but nature decided otherwise. So, I learned a valuable lesson about my Insurance Coverage and I’m hoping this possibly helps you mitigate any potential future disaster you may face. Stay dry!