With no let-up in the wet weather, flooding and disruption across the country, the Federation of Small Businesses has warned that up to 75,000 companies may not be able to find affordable flood insurance.

Worcestershire continues to be one of the hardest-hit areas, so local businesses and residents are amongst those that could be facing sharp rises in insurance premiums in the future.

This will be unwelcome and unhelpful news to those that have already suffered hardship as a result of recent storms and flooding.

Thankfully, the Government has announced that funding will be made available to help those worst affected. For businesses, they are offering recovery grants of up to £2,500 and 100 per cent business rates relief for three months. There’s also up to £5,000 available to businesses to make their businesses more flood-resilient in the future.

These are welcome moves. However we also want to see insurance premiums reduced for firms who invest in flood resilience measures. Businesses should be empowered to help themselves because otherwise, if they become locked out of the insurance market, they may be forced to close or move elsewhere, causing community flood blight.

In addition, these latest and persistent floods have shown that the defences intended to protect against ‘once in a generation’ events, are struggling to cope with conditions that are now occurring with much greater frequency. The infrastructure and approach need to be reviewed as a matter of urgency, to identify short and long term actions that will help to avert a recurrence of the present conditions.

It is unlikely to be a cheap fix.

However, current estimates already put the cost of the current floods to the UK economy at more than £1 billion. Time and money invested now could save time, money and heartache down the line.