Businesses may be totally unaware that their premises are at risk from flooding, according to latest research.

Dave Williams, from The Henshalls Group, said a survey had shown that nearly one in three commercial properties in the UK were at risk, with the number of claims rising steeply.

“The research by Aviva has revealed that this summer has seen the highest monthly number of commercial flood claims recorded and it was double the previous high.

“This is a growing trend, and it’s clear that business owners need to know the risks they may be facing, and that they take steps to protect their building wherever they can.”

Dave said the more than half the SMEs surveyed believed climate change would have an impact on their day-to-day operations in the next ten years, with extreme heat and flooding their biggest worries.

“And yet, despite these concerns, three quarters of businesses don’t have a business continuity plan that includes climate risks.”

Dave said as a result of their findings, Aviva had joined forces with Enterprise Nation, to provide SMEs with advice on how to protect their business and improve sustainability.

The Plan it with Purpose initiative will provide free online events, advice and educational resources to smaller SMEs in particular on a range of sustainability issues, including an educational series on climate resilience.

“Extreme weather appears to be worsening and even though floods can not be completely avoided, there are easy and effective steps you can take to minimise any potential damage,” said Dave.

He urged businesses to install flood-resistant doors and windows, or consider installing removable flood barriers in areas that would be worst affected

“Make sure you sign up to receive flooding alerts from the Environment Agency, and monitor local radio and media outlets to keep yourself informed of the latest situation too.

“And while flood-proofing your premises can help to keep the damage to a minimum, you must also ensure you have adequate and effective insurance cover in place so that you’re protected and ready for what is often unavoidable damage to your property.”