Why Your Insurance Policy Needs to Include Commercial Water Damage

If you think that water damage to your home is destructive, wait until you find out the damaging and long-lasting effects that water damage can have on your business.

The cost of commercial water damage can be eye-watering; you need to factor in the expense of the repairs themselves, the potential revenue that could be lost if you need to close your business and the employees that you will still need to pay even though they may not be able to work while the repairs are being carried out.

Water damage could even lead to costly health bills. If your employees have been exposed to mold for any length of time, they could start to experience health problems, including sore and irritated eyes, skin conditions and/or breathing problems.

Therefore, ensuring that you have commercial water damage cover is essential.

What causes commercial water damage?

There are several factors that could lead to water damage in a commercial property, these include:

  • Natural causes such as flooding and storms
  • Faulty or worn-down pipes
  • Increased footfall which can lead to more issues with toiletry, plumbing systems, and HVAC systems
  • Burst pipes due to extremely cold weather (dependent on your location and weather conditions)
  • Appliance malfunctions

What are the different types of water damage?

There are three different types of water damage that your commercial property could be affected by, with some posing more risks than others;

Clearwater damage – This is the least dangerous type of water damage and poses no health risks to either your employees or your customers. Clearwater damage usually originates from an appliance leak.

Greywater damage – Greywater poses a moderate risk to human health and mainly comes from sources such as showers, sinks and washing machines.

Blackwater damage – The most dangerous of water damage types, blackwater poses a serious health hazard. This type of water has been contaminated by raw sewage and/or harmful chemicals.

If your commercial building experiences any of the above water damage, although this is especially pertinent if you have grey or blackwater damage, you should contact an emergency plumbing service to evaluate the threat to human health. By doing so, you can ensure that you have taken all the necessary safety precautions to keep you and your employees safe.

Will my insurance cover all types of water damage?

You do not want to have to cover the costs of commercial water damage yourself, as the expense can run into the thousands (or even tens of thousands!) of dollars. Therefore, you need to ensure that your insurance policy covers commercial water damage, and if it doesn’t, make sure that you get additional coverage on top of your standard policy.

The most common causes of commercial water damage are leaks and burst pipes, so you should ensure that your policy covers these two eventualities, if nothing else.  

It is also worth noting that gradual leaks may not be covered under commercial water damage as they will be deemed to be as a result of your negligence as a business owner. So, make sure that you have regular plumbing maintenance checks on all your appliances, pipes and hoses to prevent a slow leak from occurring.

Commercial water damage should not be underestimated and could cost you your livelihood; however, if you have the necessary insurance cover and enlist the services of a professional plumber as soon as possible, you should be able to overcome this setback and get back to business.

Author: Chakraborty

Dr Chakrabarty is the Chief Innovation Officer of IntuiComp TeraScience. Earlier she was Assistant Professor of Delhi University, a QS ranked university in India. Before that she has held research positions in IIT Mumbai, IIT Chennai and IISc Bangalore. She holds 2 patents and over 20 research publications in her name which are highly cited. Her area of research is in smart technologies, integrated devices and communications. She also has a penchant for blogging and is an editor of Business Fundas.