Why Ask About Fire Extinguishers in a Residential Inspection?

Why Ask About Fire Extinguishers in a Residential Inspection?
When talking to insureds and underwriting a residential property, it’s important to ask the out-of-the-box questions to most accurately assess risk. One of the questions that you need to be talking to insureds about is if they have a fire extinguisher in the home. Even more important, is the fire extinguisher in working condition?
Why ask about fire extinguishers in a residential inspection?
As a rule of thumb, insureds should have a fire extinguisher on each floor of the home and in the garage. The typical fire extinguisher has an average lifespan of 5 to 15 years, and the pressure gauge should be checked monthly to confirm that the needle is in the green area.

A residential inspection provides insurance carriers with the ideal opportunity to talk with insureds about the use of fire extinguishers in the home. As of November 2017, it’s especially important that insurance carriers bring up fire extinguishers in the risk discussion because safety products maker Kiddie recently recalled 40 million fire extinguishers as many have failed to operate. Therefore, if homeowners have a Kiddie extinguisher in the home, it’s likely not helping to mitigate risk.

The Additional Value That A Residential Inspection Offers To Carriers
We talk a lot about the value that a residential inspection offers to insurance carriers, especially with the potential to identify risks that may not otherwise be discovered. Because a residential inspection usually involves face time with the insured, these candid discussions about ways to mitigate risk around the home can go a long way in deepening the relationship with the insured. Plus, this discussion can also open up new opportunities for insurance carriers to serve insureds.

Unfortunately, given the current competitive pressures of the property and casualty insurance market, some insurance carriers are choosing to eliminate residential inspections from the underwriting process in an attempt to provide faster service. The challenge with this is that underwriting practices are becoming more relaxed, resulting in higher losses.

A solution to conducting accurate and efficient residential inspections is to outsource this critical aspect of underwriting to an industry expert. Our team of seasoned professionals at Insurance Risk Services have been partnering with property and casualty insurance carriers for more than 35 years to provide thorough underwriting support in the form of residential and commercial property inspections. When conducting a residential inspection, we represent the insurance carrier, making us the face of your business to the insured. This valuable face time with the insured and ability to physically walk through the property allows us to put together the most accurate reports in the industry.

Contact us at Insurance Risk Services to learn how we can provide underwriting support to your business to help you best determine which risks are worth taking.