UK Flood Risk Statistics: Looking at the data

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How likely is my property to flood?

Data collected by FloodFlash from the Ordnance Survey, JBA, and the Environment Agency, helps us to understand the threat that flooding poses to UK businesses. The data also includes the experience of financial decision makers and insurance brokers, noting their experience of flood insurance trends over the years.

How likely are commercial properties to flood?


  • In Britain, there are around 1.6 million commercial properties
  • 27% of these have at least a low flood risk
  • The chance of a property in this bracket experiencing a flood is 1 in 50


Moderate risk of flooding means a property has a 1 in 10 risk of flooding over a 20 year period. 18.1% of commercial properties have a moderate flood risk.

Significant risk means a flood will happen at least once in a 75 year period, and that the property has a 1 in 3 risk of flooding over a 25 year period. 14.4% have a significant flood risk.

Which of the commercial sectors are at most risk of flooding?

Retail, manufacturing, wholesaling, logistics, and office properties are often located in areas with a high flood risk. These also happen to be the sectors which tend to place a lower importance on their flood insurance policies.

58% of retail businesses don’t even have a specific flood insurance policy in place!

Where does the flood risk come from?

Many believe flooding is mostly caused by overflowing rivers or storm surges, this is untrue. Many operators who are based in areas away from rivers or coastlines believe they are not at risk of flooding. However, with increasing development, surface water flooding is now the biggest flood threat to commercial property in Britain. 

There is a quite drastic disillusionment with the existing risk, as the data suggests 346,719 properties are at risk of surface water flooding, where as 144,789 are at risk of river flooding, and 31,236 at risk from coastal flooding.

Flood insurance questions

Is flood insurance difficult to get?

No, flood insurance that is appropriate for your business is available through a dedicated broker. Increased uncertainty around flood risks is causing many traditional insurers to exclude flood or impose excesses and limits even when there have been no floods in recent history. But with Romero Insurance Brokers, we know how to assess the risk and its importance for commercial businesses.


Is there flood technology that can help reduce the risk for commercial businesses? 

Technology can help improve the speed and simplicity of arranging flood insurance. Commercial business owners need to be open to the idea of technology in insurance.

Technology, such as Floodflash’s smart sensor, offers rapid claims and affordable premiums. It works by measuring water depth at the property, providing real-time data to the client and insurers.


How bad for businesses is the impact of flooding?

Clean up and repair are only a partial impact when considering the effects of flooding. Over a quarter of businesses experienced prolonged business interruption upon a flood occurring. This impact is often excluded in insurance policies, but business interruption needs to be taken into account.

– A shocking statistic by Business in the Community, 40% of UK businesses close after a flooding. 

Flooding Case Study: Tadcaster Medical Centre

by FloodFlash

400 properties flooded across the country during Storm Franklin. One of these was Tadcaster Medical Centre on the outskirts of York. It is the only GP surgery in Tadcaster, and it serves many elderly patients in the area.

When Tadcaster flooded in 2000 and 2012, the medical centre avoided any damage. However, prolonged rainfall and rapidly rising rivers led to the surgery flooding on Boxing Day in 2015. As the only surgery in the area, refurbishment and repair took place in stages, taking nearly a year to complete. After the flood, they struggled to get affordable cover from traditional insurers. Many excluded flood completely, whilst others imposed 6-figure excesses.

FloodFlash were able to provide a solution for the medical centre. The centre’s flood resilience measures allowed them to choose higher trigger depths. They used the knowledge from their claim in 2015 to set an appropriate payout value at each trigger depth. 

When Storm Franklin hit Tadcaster, the medical centre received a payout within days. As well as removing the stress of the claim process, most importantly, the centre was able to return to providing care to their patients as quickly as possible. 

“It gave us confidence when we saw the waters rising, that even if it was only a little bit of work we needed to do, we would have the money to do it.”

– Sarah, Practice Manager, Tadcaster Medical Centre

Commercial businesses can learn from this case study, seeing how effective and useful FloodFlash technology is in critical flood situations for commercial businesses.

Contact Romero Insurance Brokers to learn more about flood protection and comprehensive commercial flood insurance.

Contact Romero Insurance Brokers

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