How are modern methods of construction affecting your clients’ insurance needs?

Date: 11th October 2021

What’s the challenge?

Being a relatively recent development means there are questions over the longevity of some modern methods of construction (MMC) materials. It’s unknown how they’ll withstand the effects of flooding, escape of water and fire damage, for example, or even how they’ll be affected by general wear and tear over the years.

This is why insurers are increasingly asking for greater detail when it comes to MMC, so we can gain a full understanding of a building’s construction and build an accurate picture of the risk exposure.

Four things to know about MMC

  • MMC is a catch-all term to describe newer building methods which have emerged in recent years.
  • Examples of MMC include single rooms or whole homes constructed in factories and transferred to site, panelised construction and innovative methods used on site, such as insulated concrete formwork, thin joint blockwork or timber frames.
  • Benefits of MMC include greater efficiency, increased sustainability, lower costs and increased health and safety on site.
  • It is possible that there can be significant variations in the quality of the materials, components, construction, and ongoing maintenance related to MMC.

How can brokers help?

Providing us with detailed information about a building’s construction can help speed up the process and ensure you get the right cover.

Underwriters may start to ask additional risk information regarding the construction of a building, enabling them to understand the risks in more detail.

The following can all be useful in helping us determine the construction of a building:

  • Google Street View
  • Planning Portals
  • The EWS1 Form (for high rise buildings)
  • Building Health & Safety File
  • RISCAuthority Questionnaires
  • Cladding Compliance Flowcharts

How can we help?

Some insurers offer an in-house team of surveyors as an invaluable resource when it comes to assessing the particular risks a property may pose.

They’ll send an expert to examine the insurance risk as part of their offering to ensure they are underwriting accurately and ensuring your risk is properly covered.