The benefits of Property Flood Resilience (PFR)

This is a guest blog from our friends at Cluttons. Their flood resilience experts are in a great position to help FloodFlash brokers and clients understand the benefits of property flood resilience (PFR). This blog is an introduction to those benefits, including a small note from us on the great impact this can have on a FloodFlash policy. For more information, get in touch with

The benefits in brief

Our society, domestic and global, is already experiencing more extreme weather patterns and predications indicate that more properties will become at risk of flooding in the future.

Flooding can occur from different sources including surface water, groundwater, rivers, and seas. Knowing your flood risk, factoring in climate change allowances, is an essential first step to developing an action plan to mitigate the negative impacts of flooding and the misery and disruption it brings to people’s lives and businesses.

Having a robust property flood resilience strategy is good business sense. Some of the benefits of property flood resilience include:

  • Buy time to get people and property to safety
  • Reduce financial losses and costs of repair to stock, equipment, and property
  • Reduce disruption to normal trading by speeding up time to re-occupation
  • Lessen financial risk by helping to maintain customer and supplier relationships and obligations
  • Reduce the cost of insurance premiums as the risk of flooding and cost of repair is mitigated
  • Help compliance with regulatory requirements such as the Occupiers Liability Act 1984

Your flood resilience strategy should include both ‘practical’ and ‘property’ measures.

Property flood resilience measures

Simple, low cost measures that could be implemented in the short-term might: storing critical business records and equipment on upper floors; raising ground floor kitchen appliances on plinths; storing vehicles on higher ground or elevated platforms; selecting furniture that can be easily lifted to first floor level; having an emergency business shutdown and evacuation plan.

Measures which require a greater level of financial investment can be carried out as a retrofit solution in the design process for planned maintenance and refurbishment works. Such measures might include installing purpose-built flood walls, doors and barriers, air brick covers, non-return valves and sealing around underground service penetrations. Supplementary discreet internal drainage connected to automatic sump and pump systems to discharge any seepage back over the defences to the ‘wet side’ should be included on most projects.

Materials selection and performance is a key part of an effective property flood resilience strategy. The right specification enables the drying out, cleaning, disinfection and reuse of materials and finishes, rather than wholesale replacement. Such measures might include raising electrical services, installing solid concrete floors with ceramic tile finishes, permeable surfacing, using waterproof wall materials and fitting resin bonded kitchen units with non-porous worktops. This approach can reduce the risk of structural damage caused by the weight and force of the flood water acting on the building.

The products and services available in the market are wide ranging and it is important to enlist the help of an appropriately experienced and qualified flood resilience professional to ensure that you receive best advice.

Our top five tips for developing and implementing a property flood resilience strategy are as follows:

  1. Enlist the help of qualified professionals experienced in this type of work to provide objective, independent advice from start to finish.
  2. Make sure that you understand your flood risk, from all sources of flooding.
  3. Ensure that you understand the resilience measures available that could limit flood damage and select measures that suit your personal needs and budget.
  4. Remember to make a plan for the deployment of the measures and their long-term operation and maintenance.
  5. Make sure that the professionals you employ with follow industry best practice standards and guidance notes for property flood resilience.

The insurance implications for Property Flood Resilience

Some insurance providers will take into consideration resilience measures when calculating risk and premiums. Cluttons are experienced at working with our clients and their insurers to develop site specific, property flood resilience proposals that meet their needs and objectives.

There are different approaches emerging on the issue of how to insure property flood risk. Companies like FloodFlash offer ‘parametric’ insurance for small to medium sized commercial entities. Parametric insurance is event-based cover that pays out on the flood level rather than the damage caused. FloodFlash use remote flood level monitoring technology and say that their approach can result in much lower premiums than traditional providers as they don’t have the same overheads and uncertainty.

In addition, FloodFlash can help pay for resilience measures with cheaper premiums. If you make your business resilient to higher depths, the saving in annual premium can return your resilience investment within a few years. That way you are protected at lower depths and you make a saving on your insurance. FloodFlash can provide quotes to show the long term financial case for resilience. Email for more information. [Chris – FloodFlash Editor]

For more information on how to protect your commercial property from flooding please contact Cluttons’ flood resilience experts Ian Paton or Alex McEntyre. Click here to see a video demonstrating the flood resilience measures put in place to flood defend a large factory site.

About Cluttons

Cluttons offers exceptional depth of property knowledge from a diverse group of experts, with a focus on delivering commercial results for its clients. Cluttons employs over 240 staff through a network of offices in the UK, providing a wide range of commercial and residential property services, including asset management, valuation, corporate services, telecoms, and consultancy.

Property Flood Resilience measures combined with the right insurance solution provide the best resilience available. To find out more about how FloodFlash can help, visit our homepage or email