ISO drone insurance options now available

ISO, Jersey City, N.J., which provides advisory services and information to many insurance companies, has new coverage and exclusion options for commercial drones that now are effective in most ISO jurisdictions, providing insurers with tools to help develop innovative solutions for businesses that use drones.

The new options became effective June 1 and address the growing liability exposures of commercial drones, which already have been put to a wide range of uses, including aerial photography. The options modify coverage under ISO's Commercial General Liability and Commercial Liability Umbrella/Excess programs. Three optional exclusions and three limited-coverage endorsements comprise the six core options. The options can be used to address a number of potential exposures regarding bodily harm, property damage and other potential liability stemming from drone use.

"As more businesses introduce drones into their operations, insurers need underwriting tools available to them to address the potential wide range of exposures they'll likely face," says Ron Beiderman, ISO Insurance Program and Analytic Services' vice president of commercial lines coverage products. "Our new flexible endorsement options can help insurance carriers tailor the coverage to address such exposures in ways that suit their risk tolerance."

For more information about drones and related ISO activity, visit ISO's Emerging Issues Portal at info.iso.com/index (ISOnet® login required). Additional information about the endorsements is available at www.iso.com/drones.

GAF cancels plan for new facility

GAF, Parsippany, N.J., has announced it no longer will pursue a plan to build a new asphalt shingle manufacturing facility in Moberly, Mo. The decision was made as a result of sluggish market conditions and unanticipated increases in project and operating costs associated with the previously planned facility.

"We thank Gov. Nixon and officials from the state of Missouri for their leadership in support of this project," says Bob Tafaro, GAF's president and CEO. "Unfortunately, we had to make a difficult business decision as the economics of this investment have been impacted by the sustained sluggish market conditions for asphalt shingles coupled with increased project and operating costs."

GAF is continuing to consider locations for an additional plant in the eastern U.S. that will manufacture PVC and TPO membranes and polyisocyanurate insulation.

FM Global publishes building code index

FM Global has published a comprehensive index containing many of the world's building codes to provide companies with insight into the world's regulatory landscape.

The 2015 FM Global Country Building Codes Index is designed to assist companies that are building or retrofitting facilities to easily access the most up-to-date building codes in their target regions.

"Until now, there has been no unified index of building codes," says Paris Stavrianidis, vice president and manager of FM Approvals and international codes and standards. "This is a step forward to bring together the codes we know of in one place, including previously hard-to-find information. It also provides helpful confirmation that a few countries have no known national building code. We welcome input on the index in our efforts to keep it updated and hope it will be a useful reference as our clients consider where to extend their businesses or how to upgrade their existing facilities."

The index is available for free and can be found in PDF format on FM Global's website, www.fmglobal.com. The index will be updated annually.

OSHA and ASSE renew alliance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has renewed its alliance with the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE). The new agreement spans five years during which OSHA and ASSE will address construction safety, temporary workers and hazards within the general industry.

"Since our alliance began more than a decade ago, the ASSE has been a champion partner of the agency, communicating OSHA information to its members and supporting our national initiatives like the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction," says David Michaels, OSHA's assistant secretary of labor. "We look forward to building on this collaboration and will continue to work closely to help ensure the safety and health of all workers, including those who are most vulnerable."

Through the alliance, OSHA and ASSE will continue their work to provide members and others with guidance and training resources for protecting worker safety and health and understanding workers' rights and employers' responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Drone testing produces imagery

EagleView Technology Corp., Bothell, Wash., has announced Pictometry International Corp., Rochester, N.Y., its subsidiary, delivered Canadian imagery via drones through their CONNECT™ platform. The research and testing were completed in collaboration with Québec-based drone manufacturer Avyon using the company's Microdrones MD4-1000 drone.

The testing produced video and still photography footage that shows the ability to not only obtain intelligent, geo-referenced imagery but also the ability to process and analyze unmanned aircraft system (UAS)-captured imagery in Pictometry's cloud-based viewing and analytical software, CONNECTExplorer.™

EagleView and Pictometry continue to work to obtain and provide research and development for key UAS processes and technologies. The ability to use UAS to capture intelligent imagery for property inspection is an ongoing goal.

"We are platform-agnostic," says Chris Barrow, president and CEO of EagleView Technology. "Whether it is a drone, phone or airplane, we feel our core competency is camera and sensor systems and the technologies of processing and delivering high-resolution, intelligent imagery that easily allows for the extraction of highly accurate data. We are focused on that and working with drone manufacturers such as Avyon to make it happen."

Video of the imagery and the resulting ability to extract data through CONNECT analytical tools can be viewed at www.propertydrone.org/research.php.

Demand for roofing to reach 252 million squares

The Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland, has released a "Roofing" study about industry trends through 2019.

According to the study, U.S. demand for roofing is projected to advance 3.9 percent annually to 252 million squares in 2019, valued at $21.4 billion. Driven by a fast-growing residential market, demand for steep-slope roofing is forecast to increase more rapidly than demand for low-slope roofing.

The study also reports the new building construction market for roofing is anticipated to post faster gains than the reroofing market through 2019. According to the report, double-digit annual advances in housing starts will fuel demand for asphalt shingles, roofing tiles, and metal tiles and shingles.

Demand for asphalt shingles is forecast to rise at an above-average pace through 2019 as a result of a rebound in housing. Roofing tiles are expected to see the most rapid growth of all roofing products, driven by housing starts in the South and West where roofing tiles most often are installed. And demand for metal roofing will be supported by its durability and ability to support solar panels used to generate electricity.

For more information about the study, visit www.freedoniagroup.com.


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