Insurance Underwriting Guidelines

Here are some guidelines to help you understand the various insurance underwriting requirements and mandates for Quality Assurance services:

What is “Peer Review”?

Some insurers require builders to provide “Peer Review” of the construction plans and construction activities. Peer Review means a third-party consultant is required to review your architectural plans prior to starting construction to identify defects and conflicts that could spell trouble during construction.  See AxisPointe’s Plan Review Services.

For Single-Family homes, most insurers require only a Limited Plan Review, which includes review of architectural details, floor plans, roofing and flashing details, window installation and structural elements.

For Multi-Family projects a Comprehensive Peer Review of the plans is usually required.  This includes review of architectural plans and details as above, but budgets additional time to identify conflicts, building incompatibilities, incorrect or missing details, flashings and other interconnections of the building envelope, and suggestions on improvement.  AxisPointe also includes samples of details as appropriate for the architect.

Peer Review almost always includes observation of the vertical construction as well, so it is wise to inquire with your broker if you are required to have both Peer Review of your plans as well as Peer Review of your vertical construction.

What is 100-percent Site Observations, QA or Peer Review?

Insurers who require “100-percent” QA or Peer Review of the construction activities means that every dwelling unit must be observed by your consultant to observe construction activities for footings and rebar, rough trades (pre-insulation), drywall inspection (life safety and fire walls), podium decks and below grade waterproofing, and finishes.  A minimum of 3-4 “contact hours” is usually required to provide sufficient field time for the consultant to observe these components.

For qualified builders using AxisPointe’s innovative InSite Mobile™ iPhone platform, you may qualify for reduced insurance costs.

What is “Level 1 and Level 4” QA observation?

Some insurers require Level 1 observations, which means that at least one-hour of “contact time” be allocated per dwelling unit to randomly observe construction progress.  Level 1 observations are limited mostly to single-family detached and lower risk projects, and rarely include attached or high-rise developments.

Level 4 QA simply means at least 4 contact hours must be budgeted to provide the necessary contact time to observe the major components in each dwelling unit.

I am still confused. How do I know I will be in compliance with my insurance requirements?

Ask your broker to have the underwriter send you their written requirements, and pass them along to AxisPointe.  We will make sure that any contracted services will be in compliance with your insurance provider.  Remember, taking the low bid may cause you the loss of coverage, which could be devastating!  AxisPointe will bid your job with the minimum amount of contact time required by your insurer.