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Professional & Surveying Services

Residential Property Services

Charlotte Bland BSc (Hons) MSc MRICS has been appointed a full board director at Caxtons, one of the largest independent firms of general practice chartered surveyors and property consultants in the South East.

Born, raised and living in Kent, Charlotte graduated from the London South Bank University with a Distinction in MSc Real Estate Appraisal. Her first job was with a small, independent firm of surveyors in Hertfordshire, working mostly on landlord & tenant and corporate real estate matters. Charlotte joined Caxtons in 2011 and now heads up the Commercial Management and Investment department. She specialises in acquiring and disposing of property investments for a variety of clients.

Neil Chatterton, Managing Director of the award winning firm said "It has taken Charlotte less than six years to become a director of the company, which was founded in 1990 and is a busy regional practice.

"Charlotte's experience, knowledge and passion ensure that clients benefit from her advice. She is a great advocate for all who enter the sector, which is seeing more women taking on influential and powerful roles across the property and construction industry.

"We are delighted that Charlotte is taking on the role and I and my fellow directors welcome her considerable expertise to the Board."

Charlotte was pragmatic about her appointment saying that when she began her career in property she knew that it was for her: "I always needed a career that I would enjoy every day - a career for life – and I found it in property. I am serious about the sector and ensuring that it flourishes. I have learnt so much since qualifying and I endeavour to use that knowledge and expertise to my clients' advantage, whatever the project in hand."

Charlotte took up her post on 1st July 2017.

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Charlotte Bland

In 2012, Building Cost Information Service (BCIS) conducted research into under-insurance in commercial property. Results confirm that despite regular reminders, as many as 80% of commercial buildings are still under-insured.

Coinciding with the launch of BCIS's commercial property rebuilding calculator, this was a stark reminder that if shortfalls in reinstatement claims are to be avoided, regular reassessment of property value is vital.

Morag Keohane, Caxtons' insurance manager, says: "Unfortunately too many property owners rely on the building value to be index linked and allow the value to go unchecked year on year.

"We also see many purchasers relying on the value the vendor insured the property for without confirming if this is correct, or adopting the asset value as the reinstatement cost.

"This means that insurance companies will not have accurate details regarding the value of the building and any claims may therefore be subject to average if a property is under insured.

"Carrying out regular valuations is essential to ensure property owners are not left out-of-pocket should they need to make a claim in respect of their property."

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) recommends that a reinstatement cost assessment (RCA) should be carried out at a minimum of every three to five years. Property owners' insurance policies make it a policy condition that regular valuations are carried out by a RICS qualified surveyor, normally every three years, although this depends on the insurer.

In a recent on-line article published by RICS they said: "The Insurance Act, which came into force in August 2016, contains important changes, which those in the

property sector should be aware of. Insurers do not need to rely on their policy wordings to reduce the costs of claims as they will be able to proportionately reduce these due to non/inaccurate disclosures. Therefore, the duty to provide a fair presentation of risk should be given the utmost care and consideration to ensure that the property at risk is accurately presented to insurers to avoid any detrimental settlement adjustments."

There are two types of policy cover. A building can be insured on a 'reinstatement basis' where the amount of indemnification is determined by the cost of repair or reconstruction at the time of the loss rather than at the start of the insurance period. This means the sum insured at the start of the insurance year must include an adequate allowance for inflation both during the insurance period and during the rebuilding period, which may be longer.

The alternative is 'day one reinstatement basis' method, where the actual rebuilding cost is set as at the first day of the insurance period. Inflation is included automatically in the policy. This represents good value for money as the insurer may only charge, for example, 5% of the full rate for an inflation provision of 30%.

For information and assistance with the preparation of Insurance Reinstatement Cost Assessment Valuations, contact Mark Laherty, head of our Building Consultancy Department; on 01474 330960 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For advice on property owner's insurance contact Morag Keohane on 01474 537733 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Caxtons Commercial Limited is an Appointed Representative of Morrison Edwards Insurance Services Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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Morag Keohane

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.'

For more information contact Morag Keohane in our Property Insurance department on 01474 537733 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Morag Keohane