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Underwriting Property

A guide to key risks in Washington state: fire, wildfire and earthquakes.


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Self-serve articles on how to use our products. Available 24/7. 

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Information on Loss Costs, policy rating and assessment tools 


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The evaluation process explained for everyone affected 


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What to expect when WSRB inspects your property

wsrb-building-inspectors

Who is WSRB? 

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. 

We 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.

Why is my building being inspected? 

Most often, your insurance company or agent has asked us to inspect your property because your policy is up for renewal and you’re seeking new coverage. Or, your insurance company has new underwriting guidelines or needs additional information. 

Occasionally, WSRB may inspect a building that hasn’t been inspected for five or more years, even if we haven’t received a request. We want to ensure our data is accurate and 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. 

building-inspection
wsrb-inspection

What happens during an inspection? 

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: 

  • Building construction.
  • Tenant details, including potential fire sources and combustible materials.
  • Availability of fire hydrants, fire suppression systems and other water sources.
  • Exterior exposures from neighboring structures, vegetation and other materials.
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.  
seattle building inspection

What should I do before the inspection? 

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, fill out our contact support form.

How do I make sure I get credit for my sprinkler system? 

If your building has an automated fire suppression sprinkler system, WSRB may grant your property a rate credit, which could earn you a discount on your insurance. We cannot guarantee you’ll get a discount, but to maximize your chances of getting a rate credit, be sure to:  

  • Give our property analyst full access to your sprinkler control room.
  • Have the following documentation available for review:
    • A copy of the as-built sprinkler plans.
    • Copies of the complete Contractor’s Material and Test Certificates.
    • Verification of the sprinkler installation and existing conditions.
    • Hydraulic calculations, if applicable.
    • Results of a recent:
      1. Main drain test.
      2. Hydrant flow test.
      3. Dry pipe valve trip test. 
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 on the report 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.