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Do You Know Your Earthquake Classifications?

Posted by Robert Lacy on March 24, 2020

One day — when is anybody's guess — a major earthquake will hit Washington state. When it does, what kind of property damage can you expect? 

We can't predict the severity of the quake itself, but we can help you better understand how individual properties will hold up during an earthquake. 

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Topics: insurance underwriting, building construction, inspections

Coronavirus Resources for Insurers

Posted by Bryan Stanwood on March 16, 2020

The new coronavirus and the disease associated with it (COVID-19) will certainly have some effect on property and casualty insurers. The extent of those effects will not become clear until well into the future.  

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Topics: disaster preparedness, insurance

Embers, Wind and Fire: A Dangerous Mix

Posted by Robert Ferrell on March 11, 2020

Homes in communities adjacent to a wildland area are at greater risk from wildfires. That risk comes from two sources, one of which might surprise you. There's the possibility of wildfire flames reaching the structure. There's also risk from a small but powerful source: embers.

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Topics: wildfire, forest fires, home fire protection

Arson: What Insurers and the Public Can Do

Posted by Sandra Bird on March 4, 2020

When you think of property crime, you probably think first of car theft, robbery or vandalism — not arson. But arson is more costly than you might realize. In fact, the FBI reports that the average dollar loss per arson was $17,406 in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. For industrial/manufacturing structures, the average dollar loss was $100,578.1  

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Topics: property and casualty loss control, home fire protection

Washington State Legislature Considering a Consumer Data Privacy Bill

Posted by Bryan Stanwood on February 25, 2020

Insurance companies operating in Washington state may soon have to comply with new consumer data privacy rules. The state Senate passed a bill known as the Washington Privacy Act on February 14 by a vote of 46 to 1. The bill now goes to the state House.

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Topics: insurance

The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale for Earthquake Insurance Underwriting

Posted by Joe Nolan on February 19, 2020

Although the Richter scale is perhaps the best-known way to measure an earthquake, it's not the only one. The Modified Mercalli Intensity (MMI) scale gives property insurance underwriters more useful information.  

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Topics: insurance underwriting, insurance, earthquake

A Closer Look at Earthquake Risk in Washington State

Posted by WSRB on February 12, 2020

Have you tried the new WSRB Earthquake Risks tool? We launched it to help you better understand multiple earthquake-related property damage risk factors. It goes beyond distance to fault line and includes lahar presence, susceptibility to soil liquefaction and more. 

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Topics: insurance underwriting, landslide, earthquake

Mezzanine vs. Floor — What's the Difference?

Posted by Robert Lacy on February 5, 2020

Some architectural terms — like lobby and foyer or house and home — are different terms for the same thing. But the same can’t be said of mezzanine and floor. Yes, there’s a difference, and that difference is important for property insurance purposes.

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Topics: building construction, insurance

One Size Sprinkler System Does Not Fit All

Posted by Robert Lacy on January 29, 2020

The presence of an automatic fire sprinkler system often reduces advisory loss costs by as much as 50%, and in some cases even more. That makes it possible for insurers to offer customers a premium discount. Sometimes, though, a WSRB inspection gives a sprinkler system a lower mechanical grading than the agent or underwriter expected, reducing the amount of the available discount. 

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Topics: automatic sprinkler systems, inspections

Inside a WSRB Property Inspection

Posted by Dan Mangialardi on January 21, 2020

WSRB's commercial property analysts inspect a wide variety of facilities, including warehouses, manufacturing plants, hotels, hair salons, dry cleaners and restaurants. The people running the businesses we inspect often have questions about what we look at, so in this blog post, we answer some of those questions with an inside look at a restaurant inspection.

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Topics: inspections, insurance loss cost inspections, commercial rating