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Flooding and the small business sector

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has published new research looking at the impact of flooding on UK SMEs and the potential importance of their experiences to the work of chartered surveyors around the country.

With flooding now becoming a regular occurrence in many parts of the British Isles, the RICS has identified the ability of offer flood-related adaptation advice to businesses as a new opportunity for chartered surveyors to expand their existing skills base while providing a valuable service to their clients. Recent shifts in national policy towards promoting property-level protection suggest that this area of expertise is likely to experience future growth. The RICS believes that while more experienced surveyors may arguably be capable of expanding into flood reinstatement and protection-related practice without formal training, this could not be said for surveyors with lesser experience.

Using the devastating floods in Cockermouth in Cumbria in recent years as a case study, the research reveals that flooded SMEs have experienced increases in their property insurance premiums and excesses. The report highlights the need to address flood risk by other means – not solely relying on insurance – which is where the expertise of chartered surveyors comes into play. Nearly 40% of those businesses approached by researchers said that they might approach a chartered surveyor for flood protection advice. The researchers commented that this “seems to suggest” that the awareness of SMEs about the services of chartered surveyors has increased following their post-flood recovery experiences.

For more information and to download the research report, go to www.rics.org.uk

To find out more about flooding and its impact on property, contact Mark Wootton, director at Watts Group PLC, on 020 7280 8144.

The Watts Bulletin is the technical companion to the Watts Pocket Handbook, the essential guide to property and construction, as used by professionals since 1983.

Watts Bulletin editor: Trevor Rushton.