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AXA XL program to address mass timber construction risks

1st February 2021 - Author: Matt Sheehan

AXA XL, the property & casualty and specialty risk division of AXA, has announced a new tailored insurance solution to help clients address mass timber construction risks in North America.

Mass timber is a family of engineered wood products (EWPs) that use small wood members to produce large wood panels, beams and columns for structural building components.

“The construction industry is seeing significant benefits working with Mass Timber,” explained Gary Kaplan, president of AXA XL’s North America Construction business.

“It’s a sustainable building material which can be prefabricated, requiring fewer workers and less safety concerns. It can speed up construction time. And, from a design perspective, mass timber construction has a lot of curb appeal.”

“From a risk perspective, it can be challenging,” Kaplan added. “But when a broker like Arthur J. Gallagher comes to us on behalf of a client, like major commercial contractor Swinerton, we knew we needed to take on the challenge to find a solution appropriate to the risk.”

Joe Vierling, Profit Center Head for AXA XL’s Builders Risk business in North America, also commented: “The insurance industry has long been wary of the risks of wood construction. Wood, even engineered wood, is still combustible and presents a higher combustible load than standard noncombustible building materials.”

“Fortunately, given our clients’ attention to risk management and the growing availability of technology that can help monitor buildings during construction, we’re confident we can successfully extend capacity to cover carefully managed mass timber construction risks.”

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