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SMEs: time – the relevant factor for water damage

There is one main goal if an SME suffers water damage: to restart operations as soon as possible. SMEs get around-the-clock help from claims experts with flood damage. They organise and coordinate all tasks from water removal to machine repair. We reveal the correct procedure using the example of a garage.

18 June 2018, author: Mirjam Arnold, photo: Helvetia

In the picture, a man can be seen taking a photo of a flooded floor.
Following water damage, claims experts help an SME restart operations as quickly as possible.

A huge storm is raging outside. Flood damage occurs due to heavy precipitation. A materials warehouse, the power supply, all IT equipment and the lift motors are in the basement of a car repair garage. The cellar of the garage is underwater on Saturday evening – now what?

Stop the water from coming in and call Helvetia

The first step is to remove objects that can still be saved from the danger zone. The water should also be stopped from coming in so that damage does not become worse. Then for major damage events, it is important to contact Helvetia immediately. You will be connected to a claims expert around the clock, even at the weekend. If an emergency occurs, claims experts will come immediately and will coordinate all of the next steps with the customer on site. There is one main goal: the garage must be able to restart operations as soon as possible. Additional specialists and professionals help the garage owner and the claims expert with managing the damage.

Time is of the essence

Time is a very important factor for water damage. On the one hand, it is important for the garage to be ready for operation as soon as possible. In the best case, the garage owner should be able to help their customers again on Monday. On the other hand, the water must be removed from the basement as soon as possible. The longer the water stays in the cellar, the worse the damage will become.

The water has to go

The water from the garage cannot just be funnelled into the sewer. It is contaminated with engine oil and must be disposed of in special containers. The garage is insured for the high follow-up costs of disposal.

Business interruption insurance

Sometimes, there may not be enough time to get important machines repaired completely. If that is the case, substitute machines can be arranged. Another option is to continue running machines if possible and repair them later or make emergency repairs to get through a few days. It is also possible to ask competitors for help and find a solution by cooperating with them. Additional costs for actions to maintain operations are covered by business interruption insurance. This insurance covers two things: additional costs that are incurred to keep operations going and losses of turnover or lost profits. That is why this insurance is one of the most important for an SME, in addition to liability insurance.

Movables insurance

Movables are insured by movable insurance. It covers damage to goods such as oil, tyres or air filters. It also takes on costs for repairs or replacement costs of equipment, such as IT equipment, measuring devices, testing equipment, vehicle lifts, etc.

Correctly insured

Two things are important for smooth service and restarting daily operations quickly: the claims expert’s expertise in dealing with such major events and having the right insurance contract. It is very important that SMEs are correctly insured. This includes concluding the right cover and calculating the correct sum insured. If the garage is underinsured, it must share in the costs of the high damage sum.

Systematic risk analysis

SMEs face many risks, which are often not obvious at first glance. Furthermore, it is not always easy to determine when which kind of insurance is needed. That is why Helvetia values a systematic risk analysis for its business customer insurance. It explains existing risks to entrepreneurs and clarifies which risks should be covered by insurance.

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