Many the benefits of building with steel are widely known: faster construction times, lower maintenance expenses, increased energy efficiency, and endless design options. However, one very significant, but less advertised advantage of steel buildings is that insurance companies love them! Building owners can see savings of up to 40% on insurance premiums by choosing to build with steel.

Insurance companies recognize the security of steel buildings and reward customers for choosing steel with lower insurance prices. Factoring insurance costs into the decision making process of choosing a building type may or may not tip the expense scale one way or another, but it is the job of insurance providers to mitigate risks and charge accordingly, which is why a steel building costs less to insure.

The fact that steel buildings are incredibly resistant to fire boasts well with the insurance companies. Insurers follow a building rating system of fire resistance for buildings of a scale from Construction Class 1-Frame to Class 6- Fire Resistive (1-most combustible to 6-least combustible). Naturally then, the more fire resistive the lower insurance rate.

A typical prefabricated metal building is rated as Non Combustible Class 3 or 4, however with a few design features to make the building more fire resistance a steel building can easily rate at a Modified Fire Resistive or Fire Resistive Class 5 or 6. In comparison to Class 1 and 2 rated buildings that include unprotected wood frames, heavy timber, masonry bearing walls and combustible rated frames steel buildings hold up longer in a fire.

Insurance rates on buildings are also relative to the areas weather conditions. For instance Florida buildings will likely encounter hurricane and flood conditions, while California is more prone to earthquakes. Therefore, it is important to insurers that buildings be built to withstand these conditions as best as possible. The less likely a building is to need structural repair after Mother Nature hits, the lower insurance rates will be. Needless to say, aside from a concrete dome, steel buildings are the next best building material capable of withstanding high wind loads. A steel building for hurricane or tornado prone areas can be engineered to withstand wind loads in excess of the 150 mph; that’s the highest winds load building requirement in the United States.

Additionally, the flexural strength of steel—its ability to bend—makes it the ultimate material for buildings threatened by earthquakes. With minimal design alterations a steel building can withstand an earthquake by minimally swaying and bending before returning to its original stature; unlike other building material that can crack or rupture under only minimal flex or compression.

While insurance companies prefer the aforementioned benefits of steel the actual cost savings will vary from one building to the next. Other factors such as the use of the building and its surroundings can also greatly affect the buildings premiums.

MBMI Metal Buildings