Composite insurer Groupama is planning to double its premium income from UK property owners business to £30m by 2002, with the launch of a new selection of services for commercial landlords.

Groupama unveiled the package, Property Plus, after 18 months of research which showed that CGU (now CGNU) and Royal & SunAlliance hold a hugely dominant position in the sector.

“We are giving our commercial brokers the chance to compete on level terms with one or two specialist brokers in the market,” said Groupama commercial director Malcolm Smith. “But our research shows there is nothing like this package available in the market.”

The new package comprises three main policies: Property Owners, Premier Flats, and Landlords' Protection.

The main covers on all three policies can be written on a long-term basis of three years or more.

No proposoal forms are necessary but each application will be subject to a credit check on tenants.

The products have been designed to target small property owners right up to large corporates who spend millions on premiums.

To woo these bigger property management clients, Groupama has developed captive facilities.

Called protected captive cells, the facilities take advantage of legislative changes in tax havens such as Guernsey.

The cells cost around £100,000 to set up and are cost-effective for larger clients with good claims experiences.

Groupama's director responsible for commercial insurances Maggie Lister said: “In France our parent is a leading force in the insurance of property owners business. Here in the UK we have every intention of emulating their success.”

She added: “The launch of Property Plus confirms a substantial commitment to develop our presence in the UK property owners market.”