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Insulation certification withdrawals no need for concern

Insurance broker provides guidance for any new-build cold store plans.

Fruit growers with cold or controlled atmosphere stores are being reassured there are no immediate certification or insurance implications, following recent industry announcements around safety auditing and standards. However, consideration should be made for any new-build projects.

Following the recent announcement of the Loss Prevention Certification Board’s (LPCB) withdrawal of certification for insulation products from the Kingspan and Celotex group of companies, concern has been raised amongst the insurance and construction industries, with these brands used widely within cold stores and other agricultural, commercial and residential structures.

However, these concerns are being played down by insurance experts, who believe there are no immediate concerns or insurance implications, provided correct guidance is followed.

“For anyone with certified products installed before June 2023 within existing structures, this certificate remains valid. There is nothing to be concerned about,” explains Rollo Parsons, director with agricultural specialist Acres Insurance Brokers.

“For any planned or current projects where insulation is required, there are some implications to consider,” he adds.

While there is no suggestion that there are concerns with Kingspan or Celotex products from a safety perspective, the LPCB auditing and certification is recognised by insurers as the industry standard, with most insurers more conversant with this than any other third-party standard.

“As such, the loss of LPCB approval and certification could present issues from an insurance perspective. We would therefore recommend the use of LPCB approved panels, of suitable fire resistance, for any new-build projects in the immediate pipeline,” explains Mr Parsons.

Kingspan and Celotex products will retain their third-party FM Approvals which correspond to UKAS standards in the UK and many other standards, but when arranging insurance cover, they are not currently as widely recognised by insurers as LPCB certification.

“With the prevalence of Kingspan and Celotex products in the market, particularly for controlled atmosphere stores within the soft, top and stone fruit sectors, it is an area the insurance industry is currently looking at, and ultimately it is likely that FM Approvals will be more widely accepted in the future,” says Mr Parsons.

“Nevertheless, in the short-term, from an insurance point of view, we would recommend use of LPCB approved composite panels in any upcoming construction plans where possible,” he concludes.

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