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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

BCEGS: How it Can Help You Make Better Underwriting Decisions

Posted by Bryan Stanwood on October 22, 2019

The pictures of places affected by an earthquake, severe storm or other natural disaster often have a puzzling feature: some homes and buildings have survived while others have been reduced to rubble. One answer to the puzzle relates to the local area’s building codes. 

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Topics: BCEGS, insurance underwriting, building construction, code enforcement, risk assessment

To Be Class Rated or Not To Be, Rule 85: Part 5 of Commercial Lines Rating Series

Posted by Terry Krueger on September 17, 2019

Can your commercial risk be rated on a class basis, or must it be specifically rated? Rule 85 will tell you.

To help you understand when you need to order an inspection to get a specific loss cost, we've updated one of our most popular blog posts. Read on to learn more about Rule 85 and how to apply it.

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Topics: building construction, commercial rating

The Mystery of the Missing 13th Floor

Posted by Robert Lacy on September 10, 2019

This Friday is the 13th, so we've updated one of our most popular blog posts. Read on to learn more about why so many buildings don't have a 13th floor.

Throughout history, the number 13 is associated with bad luck and a sense of impending doom. There’s even a term for extreme fear of the number: triskaidekaphobia which if you try to say that out loud, it might be unlucky for your tongue.

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Topics: building construction

What is Covered and When to Use the Special Causes of Loss Form, Part 8 in the Commercial Lines Rating Series

Posted by Terry Krueger on July 30, 2019

Insurance is always changing, so we have updated our post on the Special Causes of Loss form, part of our series on the basics of Commercial Rating. We've also updated our posts on the Basic and Broad Causes of Loss forms. Since each post builds on the previous one, we encourage you to read the series from the beginning.

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Topics: building construction, commercial rating

The Commercial Property Market Remains Hot, Making Now the Time to Understand Co-insurance

Posted by Bryan Stanwood on April 2, 2019

Many major urban areas feel like crane forests these days. In Chicago, 42 high rises are under construction,1 and in the San Francisco Bay Area, the largest construction projects collectively cost $22 billion, more than the gross domestic product of 80 countries.2 Central Seattle is home to 66 major construction projects, with 4.5 million square feet of office space slated to open this year.3

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Topics: P&C, building construction, insurance, insurance agents

Do You Know Your Earthquake Classifications?

Posted by Robert Lacy on December 4, 2018

When the Big One hits, what kind of damage can you expect? While it’s up to fate as to how intense or severe the quake will be — or when it will happen — the fact is set in stone. Earthquakes can and do happen here.



In fact, Washington state is second only to California when it comes to earthquake risk, and this is reflected in our earthquake classifications.


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Topics: insurance underwriting, building construction, GIS mapping, inspections, insurance

BCEGS, Because Rules are There for a Reason

Posted by Robert Ferrell on July 31, 2018

As you probably know, building codes are the sets of rules and standards for the construction of buildings and structures. Their purpose is to protect public health, safety and general welfare.

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Topics: BCEGS, building construction, code enforcement

More Floors but No Greater Risk

Posted by Kevin Bloomfield on July 24, 2018

Have you ever dreamed about being trapped in a burning skyscraper? You’re not alone. It’s a common fear, especially after the horrific events of September 11, 2001. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center led to the world’s deadliest high-rise fire, killing 2,666 civilians and firefighters along with 157 passengers and crew members in the planes involved in the attack.

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Topics: building construction, fire departments

Why Sprinkler Systems Fail

Posted by Robert Lacy on July 17, 2018

In the insurance industry, we consider the automatic sprinkler system one of the world’s greatest inventions. The first modern system was designed and installed in 1812, and by 1890, automated sprinkler technology more or less resembled the systems in use today.

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Topics: automatic sprinkler systems, building construction, inspections