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Expanded polystyrene no bar to insurance

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In a 'Focus Forum' article (AJ Focus, July 2004) concerning a seminar organised by Rockwool, our FM Global employee Allan Macpherson was reported as having said that 'his company will not insure buildings that use' expanded polystyrene (EPS).

Contrary to what is suggested by the article, Mr Macpherson never said in his presentation at the Rockwool seminar (or otherwise) that FM Global will not insure buildings that use EPS.

FM Global can and does insure such property. Along these lines, our company's approach is to work with our insured clients from a property loss-prevention and control standpoint to manage conditions affecting insured risks. Particularly, there are certain ways to address the use of EPS, including overlaying it with thermal barriers, encapsulating it within non-combustible cassettes of limited size and appropriate wall thickness, and implementing specialised automatic fire-protection schemes.

The suggestion that FM Global will not insure buildings using expanded polystyrene is incorrect, and should not have appeared in your publication.

W Jay Swistek, assistant vice president and senior counsel, FM Global, Johnston, US

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