We’re the Washington Surveying and Rating Bureau, a not-for-profit organization that’s licensed and regulated by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
Part of our job is to inspect commercial buildings and collect information related to fire insurance loss costs. That information goes into property reports that insurance company underwriters use to evaluate risk.
WSRB is not an insurance company: we’re an unbiased third party dedicated to fair and accurate property inspections.
Read on for more info about the property inspection process. Learn more about WSRB here.
Most often, your insurance company has asked us to inspect your property because your policy is up for renewal and you’re seeking new coverage; companies may also have new underwriting guidelines, need additional information, or simply want a more current report. Occasionally an agent asks us to inspect in order to provide up to date information to the insurance companies they are trying to place your policy with.
In addition, WSRB may inspect a building that hasn’t been inspected for 5+ years, even if we haven’t received a request. We want to ensure our data is up-to-date, especially for buildings with automatic fire sprinkler systems.
If we granted insurance credit related to the sprinkler system, we need to check that credit remains accurate based on the system’s design, current occupancy conditions, and system testing and maintenance.
We routinely inspect buildings across Washington - check out this map to see where we conducted inspections during 2023.
The exact inspection process depends on the building. But the focus is always the same: to understand the physical structure and its risk from a property insurance standpoint.
Our property analysts look at:
The analyst inspecting your building will need access to all areas, and will look inside storage, electrical and sprinkler control rooms, as well as other places inside and out. We’re not nosy; we simply need to fully understand the structure and its fire protection systems. The analyst will also take some measurements and may ask questions about the building, any industrial machinery and storage arrangements.
For a look inside a WSRB property inspection, check out our blog on the subject.
Be sure our property analyst can get into the building at the scheduled time and has access to the areas described on this page.
Contact your tenants to let them know when the inspection will happen and what it will involve. Feel free to send them this page so they can learn more about the inspection process.
If you have questions about the inspection process, contact our Customer Service team.
The law requires most sprinkler systems to undergo annual inspection and testing, also called a confidence test. The results of this test include the main drain and dry pipe valve tests listed above.
If our analyst doesn’t receive sufficient information and documentation, WSRB will rate the building as non-sprinklered, but we will note that a sprinkler system is present.
Not all buildings with sprinkler systems will receive insurance rate credit or discounts. Systems with designs or installation methods that don’t meet minimum standards set by the National Fire Protection Association, systems designed for life safety (rather than property protection), or systems with inadequate water supplies may not qualify for rate credits or discounts. Rate credit is subject to verification of sprinkler installation and conditions existing at the time of final inspection.
Didn't receive full sprinkler credit? Reference our blogs on the subject to find answers:
Learn more about our sprinkler grading services here.
The FAIR Plan was established in 1968 to provide fire insurance coverage to both commercial buildings and dwellings where they may not have been able to obtain a policy in the standard insurance market.
WSRB conducts inspections for the FAIR Plan, assessing the overall physical condition of the building alongside other important criteria. Want to learn more about the FAIR Plan and how we conduct inspections on their behalf? Click here.