“Over the last year we have seen a number of significant, high-value claims regarding timber-constructed properties, and we expect to see more if the government and the market continue to see timber as a solution to the housing crisis. Insurers will need to adapt accordingly.”
This was the rather straightforward warning from BLM partner and head of property damage John O’Shea. It’s looking like a diabolical dilemma case, as the deemed solution to the UK’s housing shortfall is apparently causing problems at the same time.
The issue was among the topics covered in the third volume of the Macroeconomic Trends Series, produced by the insurance law firm in partnership with economists from the Institute of Directors (IoD). The latest whitepaper examined property risks and the potential impact of macroeconomic trends to insurance claims.
“For years, government and industry have talked about the need to address the chronic housing shortage,” said O’Shea, who led the development of the paper. “For some a potential fix is to adopt the timber frame method of construction rather than the more traditional bricks and mortar approach.
“However timber frame homes pose particular fire risks given the presence of cavities within the finished structure. Such risks are prevalent both during the period of construction and thereafter.”