Quality Commercial Inspections Highlight Property Condition and Detail Insurance Risk

Quality Commercial Inspections Highlight Property Condition and Detail Insurance Risk
A professional commercial inspection of a property for insurance company purposes includes three distinct steps:

  1. A walk-through survey of the entire property, both interior and exterior, to visually examine the property’s general condition
  2. Procurement and review of appropriate supporting documents
  3. Submission of a final inspection report
A commercial inspector in the employ of a property inspection company is a third-party entity relative to the insurance underwriting process. His or her purpose is to provide the client with the most accurate analysis of a property’s condition with no material or financial interest in the outcome of the findings. You, as the insurance company underwriter, will take the reported information to use in your risk analysis of a property to determine whether or not to issue a policy for that particular property and, if so, the appropriate amount of protection to underwrite and the amount of premium to charge for that protection.

The Walk-Through Survey
The walk-through survey part of a commercial inspection is a complete visual examination of a property, inside and out, to include all major components and systems, such as:

  • HVAC system
  • Plumbing system, including fixtures and piping
  • Mechanical systems, including elevator and conveyance systems
  • Electrical system, including panels and wiring
  • ADA accessibility
  • Roof surface, including drainage and roof penetrations
  • Building exterior fixtures and elements
  • Basement, crawl spaces and foundation
  • Building site’s general topography
  • Parking areas and sidewalks
  • Windows, doors and interior areas
  • Life and fire safety items

Procurement and Review of Documents
For the next part of the commercial inspection, appropriate documents and records relating to the property should be requested and reviewed. These may include:

  • Lease agreements
  • Certificates of Occupancy
  • Service contracts
  • Reports of fire code violations
  • Reports of building code violations
  • Repair invoices
  • Maintenance records

The inspector may also want to interview individuals on site who are most knowledgeable about the building being inspected. This may help uncover potential deficiencies. Documentation review will help enhance what information was learned during the walk-through survey and may be used to support the final inspection report.

Final Inspection Report
The concluding portion of a commercial inspection is a written report containing the inspector’s findings along with supporting documents and images. This detailed report will include a building inventory of all major systems and building components with a descriptive evaluation of both physical and functional conditions.

It should pinpoint strengths and weaknesses perceived and include any deferred maintenance issues. This report should aid the insurance underwriter in understanding any factors that will affect the property from either a physical or financial standpoint. It should also include the health and safety status of building occupants, both employees and visitors. The final commercial inspection report should detail:

  • Building code and/or fire code violations
  • Listing of any equipment reaching the end of its useful service life
  • Worn systems
  • Inadequate building design
  • Improper maintenance
  • Immediate repairs needed
  • Environmental damage or risk of damage

Property Types
Commercial inspections are available for a wide range of property types, including:

  • Retail properties such as malls, strip malls or shopping centers
  • Office buildings, including medical or dental offices
  • Hospitality properties such as hotels, motels, resorts or convention centers
  • Specialty properties like restaurants, churches, schools, self-storage facilities, etc.

Every commercial inspection is different and each inspection report can be uniquely tailored to your specific needs. Insurance Risk Services has a 35+ year track record of conducting high-quality, professional residential and commercial property inspections all across the country. Contact us today to find out how we can help improve your underwriting activities through our full line of field services.

We’re delighted to announce that Insurance Risk Services will rebrand to Davies in the near future.

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