How to prepare for an insurance site inspection?
PLAN IN ADVANCE
A healthy amount of preparation is required in order to be able to conduct a quality inspection. Today we’re continuing our series on inspections from the perspective on an insurance carrier.
If you know in advance what you are expecting and how you plan to perform the visit, it will make your life much easier during the survey.
First thing to do is to review the previous reports and the site plan that is normally associated with the facility.
The site plan will give you some useful information, such as the size of the plant, the number of buildings to visit, the type of construction and the general occupancy in the buildings, the location of yard storage and possible outside exposures, and the presence of fire pumps, as well as the general layout of the fire mains and location of sprinkler risers.
Referring to the plan when reading the previous reports help to visualize the facility.
And helps to determine how long you will need to make your inspection.
REVIEWING PREVIOUS REPORTS
The review of the previous report will give useful information on construction, specific hazards, type of water supply and the different types of fire protection systems for the facility.
By reading this document, you will be able to gather what the points of interest are that you need to discuss or detail during your visit. It will give both a “big-picture” overview and a shortlist of specific items to backcheck from prior visits.
In a way, a past list of deficiencies can become a checklist to circle back on with this visit. Look for key takeaways from past reports that warrant your time and follow-up. Create a quick roadmap for what you want to see, and how much time you’ll need to check on past issues.
The process and utilities description, with possible production bottlenecks are also helpful to understand the critical areas of the plant that need to be visited to make a proper assessment of the facility.
The review of recommendations will give you information on areas of concerns at the facility. What deficiencies have already been identified, the possible answer from the plant, and the ones you need to discuss again in details during your survey.
REVIEWING PAST CORRESPONDENCE & UNDERWRITING
Check prior correspondence and underwriting communication as well.
Some facility changes may have occurred, followed by your company, but not yet included in the facility report. These specific areas where changes have occurred should be visited during the site tour to update the report accordingly.
You may find in this correspondence an update of recommendation status, since some projects may have been conducted as a response to prior insurance recommendations.
There may also be information regarding new buildings, new equipment and new processes, that may impact on the loss estimates for the facility, either by reducing loss estimates in case of added redundancy, or increasing loss estimates, in case of poor construction or protection, for example.
Any information provided by the underwriting department needs to be reviewed, such as possible losses since the previous visit. This is definitely a topic you need to discuss on site during the survey.
REVIEWING TEST INFORMATION
Review previous testing information.
Test reports will give you some information on how the fixed fire protection systems and associated water supplies perform, and are expected to perform during your survey.
If some deterioration in the systems or water supply were noted during the previous tests, such as a slight decrease of pressure delivered by the fire pumps, then this should be checked more precisely during your visit to determine whether the situation is stable or if further maintenance action is required.
The review of the previous tests will also give you an idea on how much time you would need to spend yourself on the topic during the site survey.
A note here - if the proper testing hasn’t been conducted or the equipment to facilitate a test doesn’t exist, then a recommendation should normally be proposed to remediate this issue.
It would not be possible, for example, to properly test the fire pumps if there is no test header and no metering device provided.
Of course, this whole effort is way easier when we re-survey after a previous site visit that we conducted ourselves. But, you can also make your life a lot easier by having detailed and well-organized information in the technical prevention report. Just something to keep in mind when you’re preparing for a visit and gathering the data you need to produce your own report.
I am Franck Orset, this is MeyerFire University.
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