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.'
Once again, Caxtons has been awarded 'EGi Deals Winner Kent' - the prestigious property industry award for commercial property agencies. Winning the 2017 award for the sixth time in seven years is the result of Caxtons outperforming all other commercial property agencies across Kent.
This award is judged on the number of successfully completed commercial property sales and lettings 'deals' secured in the preceding twelve-months.
James Roberts, from Caxtons in Canterbury said, "We are delighted that again we have secured the award, which only reinforces our standing as one of the first-choice commercial property agencies in Kent and beyond.
"The commercial market is undergoing change, not least because of uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote. However, the market is still moving apace and commercial property is still a good longer-term investment. As businesses grow their property requirements change, so there will always be a need for commercial premises. Having said that, there is still a dearth of certain types of property which can prove difficult, but thankfully, deals are still being successfully achieved."
In what has been, at times, a challenging year in the commercial property sector, Caxtons again improved on the level of activity it was able to achieve in previous years.
Caxtons' Commercial Agency team is as busy as ever and keen to continue selling and letting more commercial property than any other agent in Kent.
Estates Gazette is the well respected, leading national property publication and its EGi website attracts more people seeking business premises than any of its competitors.
Caxtons is delighted to announce it has agreed to expand its sponsorship of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce (KICC) by becoming a Patron member of this forward-thinking business focused organisation.
This strategic partnership between KICC and its Patrons ensures that they are kept abreast of key business sectors across the county, and can speak with competence on a number of specialist topics. In addition, this influence flows through to the wider British Chambers of Commerce adding a voice specific to the region and, in Caxtons' case, the property sector in particular.
This places Caxtons in a strong position, having a voice through the British Chamber of Commerce, which feeds into a dedicated policy team at Westminster.
Caxtons will be made aware of relevant vacancies that occur on KICC's Economic Development Groups, which help to influence Chamber views. In addition, we will be asked to engage in government consultation exercises on both local and national issues.
David Gurton, Director of Caxtons said "This is an opportunity that Caxtons is looking forward to and we will actively participate wherever and whenever we can.
"As headline sponsor and contributor to the annual Kent Property Market Report, Caxtons is well positioned to speak with authority on the state of the property market in the county and, more generally, across the South East.
"We hope that as a Patron member of KICC, we are able to promote the importance of this research and, in particular, our specialist knowledge on the subject and the sector in general.
"At Caxtons, we recognise the importance of networking with new business contacts as well as the local business community that we already know. We have been able to achieve this very successfully through our association with KICC B2B events over the past several years, and now look forward to expanding our horizons with this new venture."
Jo James, Chief Executive, Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce presents Ron Roser, Chairman of Caxtons, with their Patrons' Certificate