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Modern Methods of Construction and how this affects the Insurance Industry
The insurance sector is seeing an increase in Residential and Commercial Properties that are being constructed under what is classed as Modern Methods of Construction. But what does this term mean and how does it affect a policy holders insurance contract.
What are Modern Methods of Construction?
Firstly we need to understand the definition of standard construction under Property Insurance, a typical policy definition describes this as a property constructed from:
- Brick stone or concrete built and roofed with slates tiles metal concrete or sheets or slabs composed entirely of incombustible mineral ingredients and plastic roof lights
- volumetric units: whole homes constructed in the factory as one or more fully finished modules and stacked in place on site
- pods: a single room, normally a bathroom or kitchen, constructed and fully finished in the factory
- panelised construction: factory-made wall or floor panels that are fixed together on site
- sub-assemblies and components: various pre-manufactured parts of the home, including roof panels and chimney
- site-based MMC: innovative methods used on site, such as insulated concrete formwork or thin joint blockwork.
My property meets Building Regulations isn’t this enough?
Risks facing the insurance industry and block management companies
Exterior Cladding of MMC buildings has also been brought to the forefront, last years Grenfell fire and subsequent reviews on high rise flats lead to the introduction of new safety tests with 70 high rise blocks failing the new test.
Many Residential Blocks and Commercial sites were retrofitted with insulation to help improve their thermal efficiency and then had cladding fitted to weatherproof the building and also improve its aesthetic. In order to calculate the risk that the construction poses it is important that the property owner, insurance broker and insurer all understand the materials involved to fully assess the risk posed.
One of the biggest issue in the insurance market currently are Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) Claddings as it is difficult to ascertain their construction especially several years after they have been installed.
Essential ACM comprises of 2 thing sheets of aluminium bonded to a 4mm core, there are typically three types of core which have varied fire resistance:
- Polyethylene (PE)
- Fire Retardant Core – 60-70% Mineral Based
- A2/Limited Combustibility Core – 90% Mineral Based
My property uses ACM Cladding, what should I do?
- Notify the fire and rescue service
- Engage with residents to ensure they understand the emergency procedures and interim measures
- Advise residents to report concerns regarding maintenance and housekeeping
- Check fire procedure notices are accurate
- Survey residents regarding ability to evacuate
- Check all Fire Doors
- Check that, at ground level and any balconies, there are no combustible materials in the vicinity of the cladding
- Prohibit barbeques on balconies
- Check fire stops in walls and risers
- Check that any smoke control facilities are operating correctly/not undermined
- Check all facilities provided for Fire Rescue Service (dry/wet rising mains and fire-fighting lifts)
- Check roadways and hard standing for Fire Rescue Service appliances
- Ensure that there are adequate smoke alarms in rented flats, and that leaseholders are advised of need
When is a Brick building not standard construction?
Clarke Williams have ensured we only work with industry leading experts to assist our clients and can provide referral into Fire Protection Companies and Chartered Surveyors to ensure our clients have the right protection and can meet insurer requirements. We can also conduct site visits to provide in depth risk assessment which can help to lower your insurance premiums and provide peace of mind that the full details have been passed to insurers.
Making a claim
Unfortunately, with all the will in the world, Commercial Property Insurance and Residential Property Insurance claims will happen. All insurers will have their own claims procedures, but below are a couple of things you can do to make the process as quick and stress free as possible!
Once you have received details of an incident from your client or employees, you should contact your broker (preferable Clarke Williams Ltd) to notify them of a possible claim. Even if you only have limited details it is always best to notify your insurers immediately.
Once you receive the invoice for repairs from the hirer, you will need to send this and following to your insurance broker;
- Full description of the incident and copies of any correspondence received
- Details of any remedial actions taken or proposed
- Full listing of any costs incurred
- We can cater for all modern methods of construction and provide expert advice on risk mitigation.
Providing your insurer gets all the above documentation and there are no other underlying issues, your insurer should be able to process the claim and appoint a loss adjuster to approve your claim.
Need a quote for a Property Insurance built with Modern Methods of Construction?
We can cater for all modern methods of construction and provide expert advice on risk mitigation. Using our carefully selected panel of specialist insurers we are able to cover:
- High Rise Blocks of Flats with cladding
- Commercial Warehouses
- Cold Storage Depots
- Modular Student Blocks
- Properties with MMC extensions
If you would like to see what options are available, give us a call. Our service includes the following:
- A no-obligation review of your insurances
- Identification of any gaps in cover
- Help you to arrange a policy that meets your needs
- Answer any questions you may have
- Comparison of insurance quotes & cover from multiple insurance companies (we’re independent so not tied to any insurers
- Availability of instant cover
- If there is a better deal out there, we’ll tell you. You can still transfer your insurance to us and try out our service
- Option of face-to-face, telephone or online communication
- Ongoing one-to-one support throughout the year
- We’ll be here to help if you need to make a claim
For a no obligation quotation from one of our Property Insurance experts please call us on 01732 252898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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