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The 2017 hurricane season produced 17 named storms, 10 of which became hurricanes — six of those major hurricanes, including the first two major hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, to hit the continental United States in 12 years (FEMA). According to Business Insurance, as of January 2018, The National Flood Insurance Program has paid out more than $8 billion in flood insurance claims related to 2017 catastrophes.  Elsewhere in the world in 2017 there were floods in South Asia, Africa and Europe causing great property damage and loss of life.

Business Impact

In addition to these catastrophes, record rainfall throughout the United States caused major flooding…and major damage. Heavy, persistent rainfall across northern and central California created substantial property and infrastructure damage from flooding, landslides and erosion. Significant impacts included severe damage to the Oroville Dam spillway, which caused a multi-day evacuation of 188,000 residents downstream. Excessive rainfall also caused flood damage in the city of San Jose, as Coyote Creek overflowed its banks and inundated neighborhoods, forcing 14,000 residents to evacuate. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), at least 25% of businesses that close after destructive events, such as floods, never reopen. Protecting the bottom line in order to remain open, or to re-open quickly after a flood disaster, requires taking steps now to prevent or reduce flood damage should your business be in the path of rising water..

What Can You Do?

Despite the unpredictability of floods, there are still some preventative actions you can take to reduce your risks of costly damage and give you peace of mind.  XL Catlin’s Property Risk Engineering/GAPS team can assist you with your property loss prevention any time of the year.  At facilities at risk from flooding, the team is able to work with you to identify and understand exposures to your business.   Preventing a flood from occurring is often not possible, but the team can help businesses work through recommendations designed to minimize the effect of flooding and improve business resilience.  This can include physical protection as well as contingency planning.  Having a specific flood emergency response plan as part of an overall business continuity management strategy is essential.

XL Catlin partners with the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) to provide you information on how to mitigate the risks involved with floods.

Here are some tips to help you minimize or prevent water damage to your property due to flood. And if a flood does occur, here are some actions you can take to reduce water damage. 

XL Catlin’s Property Risk Engineering/GAPS team can assist you with your property loss prevention any time of the year. For additional information on preventing flood-related losses at your facility, please contact one of our Property Risk Engineering Leaders


Global Asset Protection Services, LLC, and its affiliates (“AXA XL Risk Consulting”) provides risk assessment reports and other loss prevention services, as requested. This document shall not be construed as indicating the existence or availability under any policy of coverage for any particular type of loss or damage. AXA XL Risk. We specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that compliance with any advice or recommendation in any publication will make a facility or operation safe or healthful, or put it in compliance with any standard, code, law, rule or regulation. Save where expressly agreed in writing, AXA XL Risk Consulting and its related and affiliated companies disclaim all liability for loss or damage suffered by any party arising out of or in connection with this publication, including indirect or consequential loss or damage, howsoever arising. Any party who chooses to rely in any way on the contents of this document does so at their own risk.

US- and Canada-Issued Insurance Policies

In the US, the AXA XL insurance companies are: AXA Insurance Company, Catlin Insurance Company, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. In Canada, coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch and AXA Insurance Company - Canadian branch. Coverages may also be underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003. Coverages underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003 are placed on behalf of the member of Syndicate #2003 by Catlin Canada Inc. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of AXA XL.
US domiciled insurance policies can be written by the following AXA XL surplus lines insurers: XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited, Syndicates managed by Catlin Underwriting Agencies Limited and Indian Harbor Insurance Company. Enquires from US residents should be directed to a local insurance agent or broker permitted to write business in the relevant state.