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.
On the sofa with Chris Price
James Roberts, manager of Caxtons' commercial agency department in Canterbury, was invited by Kent Messenger's business editor Chris Price to join him on the sofa for a Chris & Co KMTV business interview.
Chris and James discussed the current position of the commercial property market in Kent. They covered a variety of aspects, including the county's shortage of commercial premises to provide space for businesses to grow organically – whether industrial or service sector based. In James' opinion, new build is essential to address the problem but developers need sensible margins to encourage them to proceed.
James' interview can be heard in full at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wgbpomPzXw.
Caxtons is headline sponsor of and main contributor to the Kent Property Market Report, which can be read in full or downloaded at www.caxtons.com/useful-documents.