Citizens on a Mission

In Citizens Insurance, Commercial Market, Florida Hurricane Insurance by Patricia Staebler

Unnoted by many, Citizens sneaked in some new rules, which will affect especially condominium associations and commercial properties.

Effective May 2011, buildings with sprinkler systems are only eligible for sprinkler credits, if the sprinkler system is ISO approved. ISO stands for Insurance Service Office, a company specialized on risk ratings of buildings. See my blog about ISO classifications.

Wet Sprinkler

The reason for this new rule is Sprinkler Leakage Exclusion. Therefore, if your sprinkler system is not ISO approved, Citizen will add the Sprinkler Leakage Exclusion endorsement to the policy.

But to avoid this endorsement, here is what you can do:

– Have a sprinkler maintenance with an approved company in place
– Have an annual sprinkler inspection report
– Order an ISO Automatic Sprinkler Grading Report
– Have a statement prepared by a Florida Certified Fire Protection System Contractor or Fire Marshall
than includes all of the information outlined below:

o No maintenance problems exist that could lead to sprinkler leakage exposure
o The system is operational, serviced, maintained, and able to function as intended or designed, in the event of a fire
o The installation has evidence of flushing and hydrostatic tests of both the underground and overhead piping, in accordance with NFPA Standard 13
o A full-flow main drain test has been witnessed within the last 48 months
o Dry-pipe installations have evidence of a satisfactory dry-pipe test within the last 48 months
o Fire-pump installations have evidence and results of a fire-pump test conducted within the last 48 months

Also effective May 2011 the definition of a single-building was clarified:

The new single-building definition reads as follows:

– As one building when they communicate through unprotected openings
– Separated when separated by space
– Separately, if divided by an 8-inch masonry or 6-inch reinforced concrete part wall without openings, provided that, if a roof is combustible or metal, the party wall pierces the roof. In addition, if the exterior walls are not masonry, the party wall must pierce the non-masonry wall.

These are just minor changes to the vast amount of Citizen’s rules and regulations, but can be significant for your building if your sprinkler system did not have an ISO inspection.

If you think your building needs to be inspected, you should first contact a knowledgeable engineer.

As always thanks for reading my blog, let me know if you have any questions!

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