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The Basics of Commercial Property Underwriting and Rating: COPE

Total Credits: 3 including 3 CE Credit



Today’s commercial property underwriters use the same information their predecessors used nearly 400 years ago:

  • Construction
  • Occupancy
  • Protection
  • Exposure

Combined, these four elements are known as “COPE underwriting.”

There is no “magic” to commercial property underwriting. The “magic” is in knowing how these four key elements direct the property underwriter’s decision: 1) to extend coverage; and 2) how to price the property.


All four parts of COPE are detailed in this class. Students leave understanding:

Construction: How to determine the proper construction class (1-6); why square footage matters; and how age affects the underwriting decision? We will also discuss mixed-construction issues – this is worth the price of admission.

Occupancy: Why HOW the insured does what they do matters more than what they do.

Protection: The basics of sprinkler systems, fire extinguishers, alarm systems, fire doors and fire walls and public fire protection; how each affects property pricing will also be discussed.

Exposure: The external factors that affect the insured property.


With this information, you will know how to paint the proper property picture to help your underwriter, your client, and ultimately you.


Course Materials


Christopher J. Boggs, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, LPCS, AAI, APA, CWCA, CRIS, AINS's Profile

Christopher J. Boggs, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, LPCS, AAI, APA, CWCA, CRIS, AINS Related Seminars and Products

Christopher J. Boggs, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, LPCS, AAI, APA, CWCA, CRIS, AINS, joined the insurance industry in 1990. He is the Executive Director of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (Big "I") Virtual University. His current duties involve researching, writing, and teaching property and casualty insurance coverages and concepts to Big "I" members and others in the insurance industry.

During his career, Boggs has authored more than 300 insurance and risk management-related articles on a wide range of topics as diverse as Credit Default Swaps, the MCS-90, and enterprise risk management. In addition to this, Boggs has written 13 insurance and risk management books:

  • "The Insurance Professional's Practical Guide to Workers' Compensation: From History through Audit," now in its second edition;
  • "Business Income Insurance Demystified: The Simplified Guide to Time Element Coverages," now in its third edition;
  • "Property and Casualty Insurance Concepts Simplified: The Ultimate 'How to' Insurance Guide for Agents, Brokers, Underwriters and Adjusters;"
  • "Wow! I Never Knew That! 12 of the Most Misunderstood and Misused P&C Coverages, Concepts and Exclusions;"
  • "Insurance, Risk & Risk Management! The Insurance Professional's Guide to Risk Management and Insurance;"
  • "Workers' Compensation: How You Can Effectively Answer Your Clients 12 Most Commonly Asked Questions;"
  • "Glossary of Insurance Terms;"
  • "Choosing the Best Risk Financing Option;"
  • "Writing Property and Liability Coverage for Condos;"
  • "The Truth about Enterprise Risk Management;"
  • "The Experience Mod Worksheet;"
  • "What has ISO Done to us Now?" and
  • "Cancellations, Non-Renewals & Conditional Renewals: THE Insurance Professional's Guide to Statutory Insurance Carrier Notification Requirements for All 50 States!"

Boggs is a regular speaker at industry events, speaking for groups such as the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), the National Society of Insurance Premium Auditors (NSIPA), the American Association of Managing General Agents (AAMGA), the Institute of Work Comp Professionals (IWCP), and the CPCU Society.

A graduate of Liberty University with a bachelor's degree in Journalism, Boggs' background includes work as a risk management consultant, loss control representative, producer, claims manager, and quality assurance specialist


Wed, Jul 24, 2024 - 09:00am to 11:49am EDT
Fri, Aug 09, 2024 - 10:00am to 12:49pm EDT
Wed, Aug 21, 2024 - 11:00am to 01:49pm EDT
Wed, Sep 11, 2024 - 01:00pm to 03:49pm EDT
Tue, Sep 24, 2024 - 02:00pm to 04:49pm EDT
Tue, Oct 01, 2024 - 08:00am to 10:49am EDT
Wed, Oct 16, 2024 - 09:00am to 11:49am EDT
Mon, Nov 11, 2024 - 10:00am to 12:49pm EST
Thu, Nov 21, 2024 - 11:00am to 01:49pm EST
Tue, Dec 03, 2024 - 01:00pm to 03:49pm EST
Mon, Dec 16, 2024 - 02:00pm to 04:49pm EST



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