What to do if your business is hit by Storm Ophelia

Do contact your insurer. Don’t put yourself at risk.

By Paul O'Donoghue Reporter, Fora

INSURANCE POLICIES SHOULD cover business owners for destruction in the wake of Storm Ophelia – but they need to be sure to document all damage and keep receipts.

Most firms across the country have shut today as the ex-hurricane strikes, while thousands of premises have lost power and many are likely to face some level of damage.

According to the country’s largest insurance body, Insurance Ireland, business insurance policies will cover storm damage, however record-keeping is important.

“Business insurance policies will cover for storm damage to premises and stock,” a spokesman for the organisation said.

“They will also cover for business interruption if there has been storm damage to the premises and the business is unable to trade,” he added.

This will likely come as a relief to the thousands of businesses across the country that have been forced to shut due to the storm. This includes some of the largest employers in the country, such as Dunnes Stores and Ulster Bank.

Insurance Ireland said that businesses that are hit by the storm “should contact their insurance company or broker after the event and they will be guided on making a claim”.

“It is important to contact your insurer early and follow their advice on keeping receipts and documenting any temporary repairs,” it said.

Safety

Those in flood-prone areas should also stock up on sand bags to ensure that their properties are not flooded when the storm passes through.

Photographic evidence of any storm damage will be useful for those trying to make a claim.

A spokesman for Insurance Ireland added business owners should take necessary precautions to protect their premises “but they should also prioritise their own personal safety at all times”.

Business owners are advised to wait until tomorrow to contact their insurers as most companies have skeleton crews working today due to the storm.

According to Insurance Ireland previous weather events have cost the insurance industry over €1 billion in the last decade.

The last major natural disaster, Storm Frank in December 2015, which was followed by floods in January, cost the industry more than €100 million.

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