Timber Frame Exposures



Each year, there are hundreds of fires on construction sites, potentially putting the lives of workers and members of the public at risk. The HSE’s Fire Safety in Construction discusses how fires can be prevented and ensuring people's safety if they do occur. 

HSE’s second edition of Fire safety in Construction explains how everyone involved in construction projects can (and should) comply with their legal duties relating to fire risks. It targets all those with a role for developing and managing construction sites, including clients and designers, and is relevant to all construction projects, including small refurbishment sites. 

When it comes to timber frame developments, it is critical to check that your insurance policies are providing you with adequate cover in the event of a claim, as many insurers severely restrict cover in respect of timber framed buildings, due to the potentially increased fire exposure.

As part of our service for existing and new clients, we carry out full detailed reviews of the entire scheme, including a review of the proposed materials for a new development. It is not uncommon for us to identify a policy which is not adequate for the development in question, where restrictions within the wording would invalidate a claim, based on the materials being used. A timber frame exclusion would typically be detailed as one of the following:  

  • A maximum percentage of work involving timber frame  
  • A maximum contract sum insured (or limit of indemnity)   
  • A maximum height of timber frame works 
  • Or, a complete exclusion.

These conditions are often hidden within the wording and it is often not discussed in the detail at inception or renewal of a policy. A conversation with your broker and insurer can mitigate these potential issues and wordings can be amended for specific contracts. Alternatively, a project policy can be put in place (where required) to cope with a more significant exposure. The key information that an insurer will look to review around timber frame risks are as follows:

  • Compliance with the Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation (JCOP) 
  • Fire Risk Management Plan 
  • Method Statements 

If you have any concerns regarding your insurances, or wish to discuss future Contractors All Risks exposures contact us today:

T: mitch.cookney@reichinsurance.co.uk

M:  07887 811352



Tags: construction | development | JCOP | fireriskmanagement | building | insurance | CAR