Investigating property insurance costs, including panels and cool stores
If you have a cool store on your property, you might have noticed that your property insurance has increased substantially over the last few years. The reason behind it is that most insurers think your cool store is going to catch fire and as a result, they load your premiums to manage their expected risk. Further to this, insurers have been raising premiums and at the same time reducing the amount of risk (or exposure) that they hold. It’s not uncommon on larger risks to now require multiple insurers to cover your cool store.
Insurers are most likely taking a far too conservative view of your risk assessment on your property, and AB Phillips understands that your panels may need to be reviewed differently to the existing risk analysis. Our perspective can present your risk to insurers in a different light, usually resulting in premium reduction, or opening markets that haven’t been available to you in the past.
EPS panels have got a bad reputation
Most cool rooms keep their cool because they’re insulated with Expanded PolyStyrene (EPS) panels. EPS panels have gained a bad reputation among insurance underwriters over the past 10 years because EPS panels have been involved in over AU$1billion of property insurance payouts from large fires.
This has meant that a number of underwriters have removed themselves from the EPS Panel market. It’s also meant that the remaining underwriters are left holding more of the risk themselves – something they don’t like to do unless they raise their premiums to reduce their exposure.
Types of EPS
When most insurers hear EPS, they think ‘fire risk’ and they react accordingly. However, there are 11 different types of EPS panels – something that isn’t widely recognised. Among those 11 types of panels, there’s the dangerous ones that are a fire risk, and the ones you’ve most likely got insulating your cool store, which are less hazardous.
EPS panels are mostly assessed for risk overseas
Insurers and actuaries are a very professional group of people who spend a lot of time assessing and analysing risk using historical claims data as part of their analysis. Many times, the historical data used in their current risk assessments can be misleading as upgrades to properties and technological advances are not taken into consideration. The risk in terms of EPS Panel is not currently viewed in a segmented way, but as one risk – regardless of your panel type.
Finding a solutionOver the last few years, the AB Phillips team has educated and trained its staff in property insurance, particularly in relation to insulated panels and cool stores.
We have refined the understanding of the risk profiles of different types of panels with the underwriters. So they know when we come to them looking for a policy, we’ll be able to give them a better understanding of how much risk they are really taking.
We are also the endorsed insurance provider for the Insulated Panel Council of Australasia Ltd. We work closely with the Council to ensure we assist all members and affiliates when it comes to insurance for anything that contains insulated panels.
We also don’t just try to insure a business short-term. We take the time to make an analysis, order a survey and ensure we provide a long-term strategy to keep businesses open with affordable insurance.
As well as helping insurers understand there is more than one type of EPS panel, we have also gained a stronger sense of what the red flags will be for these insurers. It’s why we like to work with our clients before looking for a policy – giving them advice around additional risk reduction that makes it easier for our underwriter partners to offer a realistic and long-term policy.
By doing all this – improving understanding, reducing risk, and working with you before taking to the underwriter – we can help you get the most affordable premium for your coverage, potentially saving you thousands of dollars a year.