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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Zurich NA announces up to $50 million in insurance capacity for mass timber

November 1, 2021 GMT
Zurich Insurance (PRNewsfoto/Zurich North America)
Zurich Insurance (PRNewsfoto/Zurich North America)
Zurich Insurance (PRNewsfoto/Zurich North America)

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Nov. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Zurich North America (“Zurich”), a market leader in insurance solutions for construction, today announced it is expanding its insurance coverage offering to include commercial construction projects using mass timber, a group of engineered wood products (EWPs) touted for resilience and sustainability. Zurich will offer significant insurance capacity for mass timber: up to $50 million to qualified customers.

Mass timber is a class of engineered building materials fabricated from layers of wood pressed together, often with a strong adhesive under great pressure. Mass timber is rapidly gaining popularity in construction because it offers some advantages over other materials such as concrete and steel: Mass timber uses a renewable resource and its manufacture emits less carbon. Mass timber is lighter weight and can be more aesthetically pleasing. Because it is prefabricated, it has the potential to enhance labor, cost and safety efficiencies on jobsites.

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Differentiated solution

In addition to the $50 million in capacity that Zurich is offering, another signature feature of Zurich’s Mass Timber Builders Risk offering is that it will be available as a project-specific coverage or in the form of a Master Builders Risk program.

“We designed Zurich’s Mass Timber Builders Risk proposition based on input we sought from a wide range of insurance brokers,” said Patrick McBride, Head of Construction Property at Zurich North America. “We listened and devised a solution to meet the demands of an increasingly popular segment of the construction market.”

Mass timber is stronger, more versatile and more durable than light-frame wood, which is one reason Zurich North America, unlike many insurance providers, differentiates mass timber from light-frame wood construction in its underwriting.

Mass timber comes with a variety of environmental benefits. Because it is lighter weight, it reduces foundation requirements. By reducing the amount of concrete and steel needed in structures, it can help reduce carbon emissions created by manufacturing of materials used in construction. Moreover, trees absorb carbon throughout their lifetimes, essentially acting as a natural carbon sequestration tool.

A recent report on the North American mass timber market predicts that the number of mass timber buildings could double every two years through 2034. As demand increases, manufacturing capacity is expected to grow.

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“Mass timber offers the dual benefits of a sustainable and durable building material,” McBride said. “We expect to see strong momentum behind its adoption over the next several years and are aligning our offerings to ensure we can enable our clients to integrate it into their operations.”

Beyond environmental advantages, mass timber components offer a variety of ancillary benefits. Mass timber can be more resilient than other materials to a wide range of stressors, including seismic activity. To read more about mass timber, click here.

The introduction of the mass timber coverage follows the launch of Zurich’s Construction Weather Parametric Solution, another innovative solution designed to enhance resilience and support sustainability. Zurich aspires to become one of the most responsible and impactful companies in the world.

About Zurich

Zurich North America is one of the largest providers of insurance solutions and services to businesses and individuals. Zurich customers represent industries ranging from agriculture to technology. Zurich North America is part of Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. Read more at zurichna.com/services/about-zurich.

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SOURCE Zurich North America