If you are considering new construction at your church, school or nonprofit, then you are likely exploring EIFS. EIFS is a common construction material here in Northwest Florida because of its affordability. In church insurance, EIFS costs thousands of dollars in extra premiums and claims every year.
As a property owner, it’s important for you to be aware of the pitfalls of EIFS as you plan your new construction. This short video explains more.
What is EIFS?
Exterior Insulation and Finish System, or EIFS, is a non-load bearing exterior wall cladding system that consists of an insulation board attached either adhesively or mechanically-or both-to the substrate with an added integrally reinforced base coat and a textured protective finish coat.
Why EIFS is not in your best interest in church insurance
EIFS is difficult to insure. In fact, it will cost thousands in additional insurance coverage and high-cost claims despite being one of the cheapest materials on the front end.
EIFS properties encountered a multitude of issues when EIFS was first introduced to the commercial market. Insurance claims came in steadily from water damage, mold and mildew and wood rot. With that, the material improved in the area of water intrusion. In fact, when discussing EIFS, that is what you may hear: “it’s come a long way!” It’s important to note that these improvements to EIFS are around water intrusion, not wind.
Here in Northwest Florida, wind storms, tropical storms and hurricanes are commonplace. Wind damage is one of the major drawbacks to EIFS and that risk outweighs the low cost. EIFS construction is listed in a recent leading article as 1 of 3 main challenges in commercial real estate underwriting this year:
EIFS and Wind
In a property with EIFS, when the wind picks up a corner of the building, it removes the whole sheet and expands to the other sheets. The end result is a major claim.
In church insurance, there could be as many as 20 carriers that will quote your property. However, when you use EIFS you have eliminated ¾ of those carriers that would possibly give you a quote, including some of the most competitive carriers.
We just quoted two churches in Northwest Florida: one with EIFS and one with brick. We were able to save the brick church $10,000 on their annual premium by being able to shop their quote with more carriers.
Give us a call if you’d like to discuss these issues further: 850-994-7944.