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Daily Insurance Industry News
Monday 20th of May 2019
March 5, 2010

Fire risk blights modern construction methods

by Gill Montia

Story link: Fire risk blights modern construction methods

Fire risk blights modern construction methods Fire risk blights modern construction methods

“Building” has warned that insurance companies, including Aviva and AXA, may refuse to cover some UK buildings because of fire risk.

According to the construction magazine, recent figures from insurance research body, RISCAuthority, indicate that 40% of fires involving a loss exceeding £150,000 are related to timber-frame and light-gauge steel-frame buildings.

Concerns centre on the performance of fire-stopping devices in cavities that separate the frame from cladding once a building is complete.

Aviva’s property risk manager, Allister Smith, has suggested that premiums could rise or cover could be refused because of “disproportionate losses” from large buildings of modern construction.

In November, a fire at a tower block in Peckham cost six lives and the RISCAuthority has now submitted a report to the London assembly fire investigation panel, warning about the risks of some modern building methods.

The assembly is proposing to undertake its own investigations this month.

In December, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported that fire damage reached record levels in the first half of 2009.

Insurers paid out £639 million or £3.6 million every day for damage caused by fires.

ABI director of general insurance and health, Nick Starling, said: “While the numbers of fires may have been falling, the increase in large-scale fires is increasingly putting lives at risk, and puts more pressure on businesses in these already difficult trading times.”

 

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