Dr Thérèse Coffey MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Environment and Rural Life Opportunities, recently met with the British Property Federation (BPF) at which the topic of discussion was owners not included in the property Flood Re scheme.
Flood Re, which was developed by the insurance industry and government, came into effect in 2016. It provided solutions for residential property owners at risk in high flood prone areas but excluded cover on certain properties types such as blocks of flats, buy-to-let, commercial property, and residential property built after January 2009. This impacted leaseholders, landlords, many SMEs and residential owners in newer properties who found themselves facing two options - prohibitively costly property insurance or no insurance at all.
Some insurers chose not to participate in the scheme, but many of the everyday names opted-in to the scheme thereby providing a range of affordable policies for residential owners in need of flood cover.
One year on, the British Insurance Broking Association (BIBA) has unveiled an insurance policy specifically for SME owners of commercial, leasehold and buy-to-let property in flood risk areas, which will provide them with more affordable and adaptable tailored cover.
Due to the use of clever mapping software, each property can be successfully located, assessed for individual risk of flooding and the premium would be set accordingly. Policyholders can then decide on the level of 'excess' they wish to pay in the event of any claim, thus making the scheme particularly adaptable and affordable.
David Gurton, Director and Head of Insurance at Caxtons said: "We are delighted to be able to offer this new surety of affordable buildings insurance to property owners in flood risk areas who wish to insure their commercial premises, blocks of apartments or buy-to-let properties through the Pi-Property scheme that we can now provide.
"At the time Flood-Re was launched, we acknowledged the injustice where certain categories of property owners, who because they owned in areas of higher flood risk such as Yalding (particularly badly affected by floods in early 2000) were unable to afford suitable building insurance cover. Now that issue has been addressed and we welcome this restorative step forward.'