A five-year analysis covering over 13,000 engineering insurance claims conducted by finance firm Allianz has identified major trends in construction losses.
Fire is the biggest cause of loss in engineering claims, accounting for 27%, or $2.35bn, of the $8.8bn worth of claims analysed by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS).
Storm damage is the second largest cause of loss by number, accounting for one in 10 claims.
Defective products cause the most engineering claims by frequency, and comprise the second largest group by severity, according to the analysis.
There are three times more defective products claims as storm claims, the second most frequent cause.
Martin Eckel, AGCS senior general adjuster, said: "We are seeing an increase in claims related to defects and quality control across the board."
Larger developments running for longer periods of time can bring bigger losses and claims, Raymond Hogendoorn, AGCS global head of property and engineering claims, said: "Sums insured are now much larger – projects with values of $5bn to $10bn are not unusual, meaning claims can be in the tens of millions of dollars."
New technologies, such as drones, laser scanning, and computer modelling can help streamline efficiency and claims, Raymond Hogendoorn, said: "There are so many parties on a site at one time, and so many activities happening simultaneously, it can be extremely difficult to understand the sequence of a loss event.
"However, we can increasingly use technology to access data and information to better understand the root cause of loss and speed up the claims process."
Image: A building on fire in the UAE (Amir Radja/Dreamstime)