Kingspan Insulated Panels Australia will next month run a ‘fire webinar’ on what insurers need to know about reducing risk on insulated panelling and cladding. Having come into the public eye after a number of significant incidents over the past three years, it is arguably more important than ever for insurers to develop a greater understanding of the risks of certain panelling, and how to mitigate them.
Hosted on March 05, Kingspan’s webinar has been developed to demonstrate how the use of their insurer-approved panels mitigates the risk of fire spreading and has the same impact on maximum foreseeable loss and premiums as non-combustible solutions.
Insurance Business spoke to Dr Mark Tatam, building technology director at Kingspan Australia, to understand more about the event, the issues and the advice at hand.
“The fire performance of cladding and insulated cladding, which is a composite material, can vary dramatically from very low to very high flammability,” explained Dr Tatam. “In the National Code of Construction, different types of buildings support different levels of fire risk and these buildings are viewed in a holistic building framework perspective to ensure life safety.” This means that not all questions are answered from an insurance perspective, either in terms of property protection or professional indemnity.
So what can insurers do to mitigate risk in connection to flammable panelling? And how do they get a better understanding of the dangers it poses? Dr Tatam explained that insurers need to be wary of what is actually built, as opposed to what is on paper, as well as the need to fully engage in the issue and details of it.
“A frequent concern in the building and construction industry is that ‘as-designed’ does not equal ‘as-built’,” he said. “Insurers can mitigate risk by working closer with their clients, understanding the performance of various products and systems, and ensuring that product selection and low risk building solutions are both being adopted and implemented in practice.”
Dr Tatam believes that Kingspan has something of a duty to ensure as many groups as possible can learn about panelling – hence the creation of the webinar.
“We believe that we have an obligation to help educate and drive the Australian market towards the use of compliant, low risk building options,” said Dr Tatam.
Ultimately, Kingspan is hosting the event to educate insurers because it is confident with the performance and safety of its own product.
“Kingspan represents a low risk choice for construction, which directly addresses protection and professional indemnity,” he said. “We provide not just low risk fire products that have undergone testing to Factory Mutual Global standards, we also provide traceability of products, performance guarantees, design support and advice, site inspections and training of installers, and proactively work with clients to ensure best possible low risk building solutions.”