Design classes are used by insurance companies to classify a building according to its fire or damage risk. On the basis of the ascertained BAK, the insurance tariff is classified. In addition to the proven construction class for buildings, insurers use additional classification models to determine the insurance rate.
Class 1 homes are the buildings with the lowest fire risk of masonry or roofing. Classes classified in class 5 have the highest fire risk. They have a flammable construction and a soft roofing.
Classifications for prefabricated houses
For prefabricated houses, there is a system similar to the class of construction classification. There, the gradations are called prefabricated house groups. In practice, three prefabricated housing groups are distinguished from one another.
Conditions of the construction classes
The individual construction classes depend on the degree of flammability of the building construction and the roofing. The more flammable the construction and the roof, the higher the class of construction and the worse the classification. Use the following table to determine your design class.
|class||Condition on outer walls||Condition on roofing|
|BAK 1||Solid construction, for example of masonry or concrete||Hard roofing made of bricks, slates or concrete slabs as well as metal, asbestos cement or roofing felt (sanded)|
|BAK 2||Steel or timber framework filled with stone or glass, construction of steel or reinforced concrete with non-combustible wall panel cladding (eg asbestos cement)||Hard roofing made of bricks, slates or concrete slabs as well as metal, asbestos cement or roofing felt (sanded)|
|BAK 3||Wooden construction or timber framework with clay filling, steel construction or construction of reinforced concrete with wall panels of wood or plastic||Hard roofing made of bricks, slates or concrete slabs as well as metal, asbestos cement or roofing felt (sanded)|
|BAK 4||Like BAK 1 or BAK 2||Soft roof made of combustible materials such as wood, reeds, reeds or straw|
|BAK 5||Like BAK 3||Soft roof made of combustible materials such as wood, reeds, reeds or straw|
Special case BAK 5
Class 5 buildings are often considered uninsurable because their risk of fire or damage is too high.
Mixing of construction classes
If different types of construction are mixed, the worse grade will be applied as soon as more than 25 percent of the building is classified.
Example: A house is built to 60 percent massive and has a hard roofing, the extension is a wooden construction with a hard roof. In this case, the entire building would be classified as BAK 4, although the main building would fall into BAK 1 category.
Conditions of prefabricated house groups
For prefabricated houses, there is also a separate category system, which, however, provides only three grades. As prefabricated houses are generally not soft-minded, for example, the two grades of the construction classes are eliminated. The roofing of prefabricated houses usually always corresponds to the construction class 1.
|class||Condition on outer walls||Condition on roofing|
|FHG 1||Construction including the load-bearing components made of fire-resistant construction materials|
|FHG 2||Solid foundation with load-bearing construction of steel, wood or lightweight components; load-bearing construction elements and enclosure walls have a fire-retardant or non-combustible cladding / cladding made of clinker, plaster or plasterboard|
|FHG 3||Same conditions as FHG 2, but without fire retardant or non-combustible cladding / cladding|
Determination of the structural class – and now?
The construction classes or prefabricated housing groups are regulated and defined almost uniformly by the German insurers. With the help of this classification, insurance companies can assess the risk of homeowners insurance. In some cases the construction class or prefabricated building group is also used for household insurance. As a rule, however, this only applies if coverage for elemental damage is desired.
The higher the structural class of a building is determined by the insurance, the higher the insurance premium. If a building is classified in BAK 5, some insurance companies even refuse to take out a policy because the damage and fire risks are too high.
Factors that lead to a higher insurance premium, regardless of BAK / FHG
- Operation within the building
If an establishment is housed in a building, the insurance premium increases because the insurer assumes a higher risk of damage.
- Companies without a fire wall are in close proximity to the building to be insured
The lack of a fire wall increases the risk that a fire from the operation can easily spread to the residential building.
- Building with underfloor heating
The risk of damage or heat damage is significantly higher with underfloor heating than with conventional convection heating. For this reason, the insurers increase the premium.
- Swimming pool in the house
A swimming pool in the building carries a significantly higher risk of accidents than a building without a pool. In the case of damage, this means for the insurance company a higher sum which it must reimburse. As a consequence, the insurance raises the tariff.
- A façade covered with wood or metal
The risk of fire increases through the use of combustible materials on the facade. Insurers can pay for the higher risk in the form of higher tariffs.
- Entirely or partially vacant weekend or holiday home
In vacant buildings, especially in winter, the danger of bursting pipes through frozen water pipes increases. Similarly, leaks or fires can not be detected in time to prevent major damage. Insurance companies therefore assume a higher risk of damage and increase the tariff.
No clear determination of the construction class
Not every building can be clearly assigned to a construction class. This is especially the case when extensions were built. For example, it may be that the main building is solid and constructed with a solid roof, but the extension is a wooden structure with a wooden roof. In this case, the insurance company determines whether the cultivation accounts for more than 25 percent of the total building. If so, the entire building is classified as the most flammable part. Therefore, policyholders should consider possible downgrades in attachments to the class of construction.
Important before completing the policy
When you take out homeowner insurance, you should be aware of how your building is thoughtful and constructed. Scale up your home and compare different insurance rates to determine the cheapest and most powerful for your home.
For example, if you have planned a conversion and change from a soft roof to a solid roof, it makes sense to wait with the completion of homeowners insurance in order to be classified in a better class of construction. You should wait with the completion of the homeowners insurance also in unfinished buildings, as here, the structural class of the shell may be different than the later class after the completion of the building. As a rule, your building project is already covered by the builder’s liability or fire-boot insurance.