How are the recent UK floods likely to affect the construction industry?
In an exclusive opinion piece, constructaquote.com – a commercial insurance provider, discusses the ramifications of the recent flooding crisis for the UK construction industry.
In the past year, an unprecedented amount of British homes and businesses have been devastated by the effect of flooding up and down the UK. Many have been forced to leave their beloved homes and belongings, whilst a number of business owners have seen their businesses destroyed by the floods.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) have estimated that insurance claims for damage caused by the floods will reach £1.3Bn, whilst calls have been made for the Environment Industry to put homes before nature when dealing with the aftermath of the floods.
Whilst the damage by the floods is undeniably devastating and something one wouldn’t wish on their greatest enemy, one industry benefiting from the flood damage is the construction industry. With so many homes and businesses destroyed by the storm and floods, 2016 is now faced with a big need for construction and maintenance work to be carried out in the UK in order to restore the damage incurred.
This knock-on effect will impact almost all sectors of the construction industry, including infrastructure, engineers, builders and many more. After floods in Queensland, Australia in 2010 and 11, construction firm Rider, Levett, Bucknall stated that they had been inundated with calls to their office with request of work. We expect a similar impact to be had on companies within the UK construction industry throughout 2016.
Those trades immediately affected will be electricians, with switchboards and the like needing fixing before most work can commence. Whilst the construction industry will no doubt experience a boom, the work will be dependent on insurance claims. There will be an immediate need for work, but some residents will need to wait for insurance companies to process claims and to pay out. This could have a knock-on effect on the construction industry across Britain, with many booking work that is needed without the funds to pay it yet.
The flooding will not only affect construction business in areas damaged by the floods, but across the country. Such will be the demand of the construction industry that people will have to call upon firms outside of the affected area.
After the floods that hit Boulder, Colorado in 2013, many were forced to bring in construction workers from different areas of the country. University of Colorado economist Rich Wobbekind said at the time: “Historically, after a natural disaster, it’s common to see mobility of a workforce. Workers in the construction industry tend to be mobile.” We would expect this in the UK, too.
Although the floods have had a devastating effect on a number of Britons, there is no doubt that the UK construction industry will benefit despite there being a definite skills crisis. Whilst it may seem inappropriate to benefit from others’ misfortune, this will give a big boost to the industry.
Although constructaquote.com does cover day-to-day flooding accidents, this does not include natural disasters. For more information about business insurance against call 02920 849 550 or get a quote online.