Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) need insurance protection against flooding, ensuring they are able to continue trading should they be affected.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), many SMBs in high-risk flood areas are struggling to get adequate insurance cover.
As a consequence, many are being put in a position where they may have to pay out themselves to repair damage.
The FSB said the Association of British Insurers and government need to come to a swift decision on universal cover which ends in June 2013.
Unless an agreement is reached, more SMBs could be left without insurance in future.
Govt urged to take action
The federation believes further investment in flood defences would make it easier for businesses and householders to get insurance, protecting them against the cost of repairs.
It believes the government should do more to protect SMBs in areas at high risk of flooding, working more closely with both the Environment Agency and insurance industry.
John Walker, national chairman of the FSB, said it is "unacceptable" that SMBs are paying out what could amount to tens of thousands of pounds because they cannot get adequate insurance protection from their insurers.
"Nor is it acceptable that flood defences aren't robust enough to withstand the rain," he stated.
"The money these firms are paying out could be being used to grow their business or take on more staff."
SMBs need additional help
Mr Walker said SMBs are being forced to repair the damage themselves, a situation which cannot carry on year-after-year.
"The government and insurance industry must reach a decision on the universal cover as soon as possible," he stated.
"For those firms that have cover and have been affected, their insurers should pay out quickly to ensure the business can start trading again."
Posted by Alex Boardman