Mass Timber Insurance: Explained

Mass timber has been embraced in the U.S. at a pace rarely seen for new building systems. This rapid adoption has been made possible by an unprecedented amount of research and product testing, standard development and building code changes, growth in manufacturing capacity, and education and support for individuals involved in mass timber projects.

However, with relatively few built projects compared to traditional building systems—and almost none that have undergone an extreme event resulting in a loss claim—insurance for mass timber projects has been a challenge.

There is a great deal of information available to help evaluate the relative risks of mass timber construction, and successfully insured projects that can serve as examples for others in the design and construction industry.

Watch the video below to hear insurance expert Jake Concannon, Area Vice President with Gallagher, address these topics and explain how to best position your mass timber project for insurers.

Building on Gallagher’s momentum to move the industry forward, WoodWorks recently published a paper to help developers and building owners navigate coverage for mass timber buildings.

This paper will also help project teams looking to make their designs and installation processes more insurable and insurance industry professionals looking to alleviate concerns about safety and performance.

It examines two types of insurance: builder’s risk (or course of construction) and fixed property (after the building is complete and occupied).

1 De Haro / Perkins & Will
Photo credit: Kyle Jeffers

For developers and design/construction teams, the paper provides an overview of the insurance industry, including factors that affect premiums, how risks are analyzed, and other important considerations.

For insurance brokers, underwriters and others in the industry, it provides an introduction to mass timber, including its growing use, code recognition and common project typologies. It also covers available information on fire performance and post-fire remediation, moisture impacts on building longevity, and items to watch for when assessing projects.

Whether you’re just learning the ropes, or already well-versed, these mass timber insurance resources will help set your next build up for success. 

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