New Committee Aims to Enhance Construction and Building Safety

London insurers are to create a new group to look at how they can work with construction firms to make buildings safer in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

A new London market committee for underwriters providing professional indemnity cover to the construction industry has been established by the International Underwriting Association (IUA).

A particular focus for the group will be issues surrounding the use of cladding and fire protection in the wake of the Grenfell fire. The blaze at a tower block in west London on 14 June 2017 left 72 dead and called for urgent action on building standards particularly around building cladding.

Michael Attwell, professional indemnity underwriter with Beazley is chair of the new group which already has representatives from 16 companies across the London Market.

He said: “The insurance industry has to change the way it works with contractors to achieve better pricing of risk and risk allocation. Insurers must adapt to changing standards particularly in cladding and fire protection post the Grenfell Tower disaster.

“Our goal is to build a more joined-up approach across the industry and to drive best practice going forward.

“The contractors’ professional liability market needs some fresh thinking – this is essential to ensure that the market is able to perform as a strong and stable partner through hard times as well as good.”

The Construction Working Group aims to encourage a more technical underwriting approach and address the availability of professional indemnity cover across the sector. It will promote engagement between insurers, the construction industry, government and regulators.

It will meet monthly and liaise closely with the IUA’s existing Professional Indemnity Forum.