Flood response planning for the automotive industry

Flooding can have a devastating impact on your business, it is vital you are prepared in the event of a disaster

Automotive Flooding

Flooding can have a devastating impact on your business, it is vital you are prepared in the event of a disaster.

For retailers, a relatively small depth of flooding can cause exceptionally high losses, with a depth of flooding of around 30cm likely to cause significant or even total loss to vehicles stored at ground level.

Traditionally transferring the risk has been the easiest option but insurers are increasingly cautious around flood risks due to significant losses in recent years.

Insurers also have significant concerns around climate change and the impact this may have on flood losses with greater and more regular extreme weather events being experienced.

Step 1 – Identify the Risk

There are three types of flooding which are considered as having the potential to cause significant disruption in the UK. These are coastal, rivers and streams, and surface water.

GOV.UK provides services to tell you the flood risk of an area:



The information can be limited, but provides an overview of the flood risk.

Step 2 – Assess the Risk and Impact

Where a risk is identified, it is important to understand the extent of the risk and how this might impact on the business.

When considering the impact it is important not just to consider the potential for material losses but also the associated interruption to the business and the financial impact which may occur.

Step 3 - Consider Risk Treatment Options

There are various ways to look at flood risk management, this can be site level providing full protection to the site or protection of key assets such as building raised areas for vehicle storage, locating electrics above flood levels and using flood resilient materials.

A permanent protection will be more likely to be effective than a measure which requires a human response.

Step 4 – Plan to Mitigate Loss

A good business continuity plan will consider how the potential for the risk occurring is monitored such as receiving alerts from the environment agency and then deciding upon when the emergency measures will be implemented.

An advantage to motor traders is that vehicles are mobile and can be moved, there needs to be a careful assessment of the resources required to achieve plan implementation.

Help ensure your business is more flood resilient