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  1. #1
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    Polystyrene coldroom panels



    I recently had a brand new coldroom installed in my industrial unit. Once installed I asked my insurance broker to add it to my all risks policy. The insurance company asked for the spec sheet. Apparently the panels are insulated with polystyrene. The insurance company has cancelled my insurance because they will not insure polystyrene insulated panels.

    My question is: ought my supplier (25 years in the business) to have known of this as a potential problem? I am going to have to remove the coldroom if I want insurance - which I have to have as my premises are part of a terraced series of industrial units.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.



  2. #2
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    Ought the supplier to know the requirements of your insurance policy? No.
    What specification did you give the contractor and did they meet it with the installed cold room?

    Would be worth trying some different insurance companies, NFU have been good in the past for us but i have not tried insuring a cold room with them.
    Mostly found in Oxfordshire, UK :)

  3. #3
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    hookster is offline Veteran Poster I am starting to push the Mods: of RE
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    Hi Polystyrene panels have a lower fire rating than for example PIR.
    They also have a high internal transmission rate and structural stability is compromised in fire situations.

    Unfortunately you cant blame your supplier but you can question is recommendation on suitability.
    The size of the cold room is of interest here? Did you choose the particular cold room on price?

    You could increase your fire resistance and approach your insurance company again.
    Or you will need to find another insurance company
    I love the smell of Ammonia in the morning!

  4. #4
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    Thanks, guys, for responding. The coldroom I needed was 3m x 3m. I couldn't care less about the price within reason. I got several quotes but chose this local supplier. Who was by no means the cheapest. 6500 incl vat. Where i am coming from is that I feel my supplier ought to have been aware of issues with polystyrene and explained them to me. I gave no spec. I know no more about coldrooms than diesel trucks. But if i bought a diesel truck and then discovered i couldn't insure it or register it because it had a cooling system that worked on iso-alpha acid and 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol degradation, then I would go back to the truck supplier and said "you should have known about this, that I couldn't insure it; give me another truck."

    I have been to umpteen insurance companies. My original one was Allianz, one of the biggest in the world. All are uninterested in insuring me based on the polystyrene.

    This will, of course, end up being played out before a judge. My original question stands; ought a competent supplier have been expected to know that I would likely have issues insuring it? Or, for example, is this a new thing?

  5. #5
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    I wouldn't have known or even thought about it.
    It does beg the question though how do the rest of the premises in the country with coldrooms get on in with insurance? Might be worth checking with some local companies.

    Cheers,
    Andy.
    Health and safety first..........unless I'm in a hurry.

  6. #6
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    I have done a lot of work replacing polystyrene for PIR or fire check panels on cold stores to meet insurance demands.
    I have to say Andy that as a professional specifying to a customer it is up to the individual to be current with regulations and trends.

    The cold box sounds small and if not part of building fabric so ways can be found to minimise fire risk to satisfy insurance company from wiring used to penetrations and equipment mounting off box or on intumescent panels.

    I would always recommend working with your supplier to find a solution before going legal as quite often a solution can be worked towards with all involved parties.
    I love the smell of Ammonia in the morning!

  7. #7
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    It is my opinion that the installer should be aware of current insurance issues with poly panels, its a global thing that started around 10 years ago. In his supply and install contract agreement that you obviously accepted it should have stated the insurance risk, and offered an alternative product as in PIR panel that has a retardant in it, still burns but takes longer to really get going.
    Request from your insurance provider what is required to make installation acceptable, probably a sprinkler systems and smoke and heat detectors as a minimum.
    magoo.

  8. #8
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    had this issue with people buying s/hand cold rooms and then finding out the insurance problem,I agree there a vast amount on poly all over the country! some people just tell the insurer its pir and hope to get away with it,your supplier should have known unless he has been thru a time zone,try to resolve your issue come to a compromise with him if you go legal there is only one winner the solicitor.

  9. #9
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    Re: Polystyrene coldroom panels

    The coldroom you needed was 3m x 3m and the the cheapest. is 6500 with panels insulated with polystyrenein. I have a cost calculation that you will need about 50 m2 of panels and you can get at the price of 800. Including the shipment charges, it won't be over than 1000. I think maybe you can consider to import the panel insulated with polyurethane directly with little cost and you can easily assemble this small size coldroom by yourself. Hope this can be the optional solution.
    Last edited by frank; 25-11-2013 at 07:27 PM.

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