The purpose of a Property Risk Survey

December 11, 2021
Author: Ryan Kellen
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What is the purpose of a property risk survey

Property risk surveys are designed to present the risk to prospective insurers in order to achieve insurance terms and coverage. They provide an opportunity for property owners to demonstrate proactive risk management and continuous improvement in the identification and control of risk exposures.

Why do I need a property risk survey

Property claims continue to surge from a combination of poor risk management practices, natural disasters and catastrophic events which has impacted the insurance market globally, this has subsequently made it harder for property owners to obtain insurance cover.

Insurers are subjecting property owners to increased scrutiny on the management of property risk exposures including business operations and people risks. There are many factors that need to be considered when presenting the risk which can be a complex process for brokers, insurers and underwriters to undertake in order to make informed decisions on insurance coverage.

A property risk survey is designed to gather the required information and present the risk in a structured format to address these complexities, identify risk exposures and showcase proactive risk management provisions.

What does a property risk survey cover

A property risk survey provides a structured overview of the risk (the property) and aligns with the international COPE framework which specifically addresses the following areas:

  • Construction – construction information and general condition of the property
  • Occupancy – business activities, equipment and operations occurring on the property
  • Protection – provisions in place to protect assets including maintenance, fire and security
  • Exposure – external exposures including flood, storm and operational continuity

The risk survey report identifies risk exposures, provides recommendations to address risk exposures and validates risk management systems, practices and other proactive provisions place.

Demonstrating to insurers that risks have been identified and provisions are in place to manage those risks are likely to positively affect premiums and improve the scope of cover. A property risk survey can help obtain these advantages by presenting the risk and insurance needs favourably.

What are some of the common issues identified in a property risk survey

All properties are different and can significantly vary in size and complexity, particularly in relation to the occupancy (business activities on and within the property) which may include office, retail, manufacturing, agribusiness, industrial, storage, processing plants a combination and many others.

Whilst there are variables, some of the common risk issues identified are very basic in nature and often simple to address, these include:

  • Buildings not maintained, evidence of damage and dilapidation and absence of preventative inspection and maintenance program;
  • Insulated EPS panels damaged with exposed core and absence of protection, inspection and rectification processes;
  • Storage of gas cylinders inside buildings, in close proximity to sources of ignition or impact risks and not secured in an upright position;
  • Absence of preventative maintenance program and contingency arrangements for business critical equipment;
  • Absence of cleaning and maintenance program for commercial kitchen canopy filters and exhaust systems and ducting in accordance with Australian Standards;
  • Storage of combustible materials such as idle pallets in close proximity to external building structures and sources of ignition; and
  • Fire equipment not inspected and maintained on a 6 monthly basis and equipment, escape routes and exits partially or completely obstructed.

How we can help

We pride ourselves on providing cost effective, thorough and efficient property risk surveys. Our staff are qualified and seasoned risk management practitioners and have completed property risk surveys for many industries and operations including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Storage and warehousing
  • Processing plants
  • Cold storage facilities
  • Commercial tenancies
  • Engineering, fabrication and industrial
  • Agribusiness
  • Hotels, resorts and other accommodation
  • And much more…

Our approach

The process is simple and involves the following:

  • Arrange a date and time that suits you for a site visit at the business / property location
  • Request for documentation in the lead up to the site visit, this can be reviewed remotely and assists with informing the site visit
  • Conduct the survey during the site visit which typically takes 2-3 hours and involves citing documentation, citing and discussing risk controls, walkthrough of the business facilities and taking photos.
  • Produce a risk survey report based on the outcomes of the documentation review and site visit.

We also provide clients clear recommendations to address identified risk exposures and opportunities for improvement.

About simplifyrisk

Simplifyrisk has worked with some of Australia’s most prominent organisations including the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Netball Australia, Motorsport Australia and the Australian Red Cross.

Our ability to simplify the complex, facilitate change and tailor our approach to our clients’ needs is what we are known for and the reason our clients continue to engage us.

Our staff are seasoned risk management, health and safety and management consulting professionals having worked across a wide range of business sectors for over 15 years.

Sector experience includes:

  • Government
  • Insurance
  • Agribusiness
  • Major events and sports
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Marketing and entertainment
  • Not-for-profit and community
  • Education
  • Telecommunications
  • Assets and facilities
  • Manufacturing
  • Roads and infrastructure
  • Construction

We pride ourselves on being flexible, affordable and timely in what we deliver.

Get in touch:

Contact Simplifyrisk on 0417 895 215 or email to find out more or for an initial consultation so that we can understand your needs, there are no costs involved for an initial consultation.

If you would like more information, please get in touch or visit our website

If you would like to see what other organisations have to say about working with the Simplifyrisk team, refer to our testimonials page