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5 ways that property risk surveys improve business protection

Published 18 August 2021

Your business property is one of the most critical assets requiring comprehensive commercial insurance protection. The broad scope of potential risks and high value of assets involved can make commercial property insurance a complex analytical task for insurers and underwriters but property risk surveys can help identify your business’s property exposures and assist in scoping and obtaining the most suitable insurance cover.

Getting insurance cover has got harder. Insurers have responded to the recent surge in catastrophe claims by subjecting business property and assets to increased scrutiny, particularly in relation to business operations, property assets and people exposures, and the risk management protocols you have in place to address them.

Advantages of conducting a property risk survey 

Property risk surveys support the positioning of your business risks to prospective insurers by demonstrating that you are being proactive with risk management, making continuous improvements and undertaking corrective actions. This helps demonstrate due diligence, identifying exposures and formulating risk evaluations.

Demonstrating that you have identified your risks and taken steps to deal with them to prospective insurers are likely to positively affect premiums and improve scope of cover. A property risk survey can help you obtain these advantages by presenting your insurance needs favourably through
1.    identifying and documenting relevant risk exposures
2.    exposures evaluated to inform suitable terms of insurance
3.    identification of areas of concern requiring attention 
4.    validation of the risk management controls in place
5.    recommendations for remediating risks.

Where businesses and commercial property owners already have sound risk management provisions in place, a survey captures and reports this. Where risk exposures are identified, the survey provides recommendations to assist with addressing vulnerabilities and exposures.

Property risk surveys typically capture important information about
•    property, building or facilities
•    physical conditions and workplace practices
•    plant and equipment condition and maintenance
•    security systems and infrastructure
•    fire equipment, systems and compliance
•    high-risk areas, equipment or activities
•    business interruption and continuity provisions.

Does your commercial property and business conducted involve high inherent risks?

If your business involves high inherent risks such as the use of heat or expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulation or asbestos in the building construction, a risk survey is critical to support insurance submissions. The scope of the survey and recommendations would typically cover risk assessments and exposures, and the mitigation measures taken to manage them.

Common risk recommendations might include
• Testing and tagging completed 
• Fire fighting equipment installed and maintained regularly
• Cooking filters and ducts kept clear 
• Combustible storage or material stored externally 
• EPS contained and labelled 
• Dust extraction in working order 
•Hot work permits in place 
• Asbestos registration.

About the Gallagher risk survey supplier   

Gallagher works with an independent risk survey provider for our clients, National Surveys & Risk Assessments (NSRA). The NSRA’s professionals conduct the survey process and deliver a detailed report post assessment, providing businesses with assurance on a number of factors including
•    the surveyors are experienced risk management and insurance professionals 
•    they have the experience and qualifications to provide business interruption and loss estimates under foreseeable loss scenarios
•    the reports clearly identify observations of the customers’ risk without fear or favour
•    the reports are formatted for the insurance industry and include information specifically designed to meet and enable use for insurance policy considerations 
•    the reports are independently reviewed for quality and procedural compliance 
•    clients benefit from risk survey report presentations that are customised to meet the specific complexity and size of the risk exposure
•    the risk survey process is conducted with close liaison between your business, Gallagher and the surveyors.

Public liability assessments

As well as surveying property exposures businesses with public access to their commercial property need to be aware of any liability risks where people or their property might be harmed.

Risk survey assessments and recommendations address business processes and systems of work to provide a safe environment for customers and visitors.

Would your business benefit from a risk survey assessment?

For advice about how your business’s risk management may be affecting the availability or scope of your cover, or to arrange a risk survey, talk to one of our business insurance experts.

Further reading


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Gallagher provides insurance, risk management and benefits consulting services for clients in response to both known and unknown risk exposures. When providing analysis and recommendations regarding potential insurance coverage, potential claims and/or operational strategy in response to national emergencies (including health crises), we do so from an insurance and/or risk management perspective.
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