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Does Your Business Have Equipment Breakdown Insurance?

equipment breakdown insurance policiesLet’s take a look at equipment breakdown insurance. Companies need safe and working equipment to operate efficiently and generate revenue. In fact, some organizations rely exclusively on a few pieces of equipment to run their entire business. Following a breakdown, major losses can occur, and many organizations turn to equipment breakdown insurance (sometimes referred to as boiler and machinery insurance).

Breakdown coverage is a form of property insurance designed to protect a company’s mechanical, electrical and computer equipment from unexpected breakdowns. These policies are flexible, and help organizations recoup financial losses related to property damage, business interruption and spoilage. Read on to see examples of this coverage in action.

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Benefits of Equipment Breakdown Insurance

• Repair cost coverage — Following an breakdown, organizations may have to pay thousands just to get their business up and running again. Equipment breakdown insurance can help soften the blow, reimbursing organizations for the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment due to an accident.

• Expediting expenses — Repairing complex equipment in a hurry can be an expensive endeavor. Most equipment breakdown insurance policies cover any expenses needed to speed up the repair or replacement of damaged property, including the cost of temporary repairs.

• Protection against business interruptions — Virtually in all cases, an equipment failure disrupts a business. In some instances, these disruptions are quantifiable, leading to lost revenue and productivity. Equipment breakdown insurance covers some of these costs, including income lost as a result of a covered accident. What’s more, this protection is in effect until the equipment is repaired or replaced.

• Coverage for perishable goods — Following an equipment failure, food-related businesses experience some of the most direct losses. Food industry equipment is not only expensive to repair and replace, but businesses can lose thousands of dollars worth of product if a freezer or refrigerator fails. Thankfully, equipment breakdown insurance provides adequate protection and covers food spoilage, manufactured goods or other perishable items after a covered incident.

Claims Scenario: Give Me a Break

The company: A metal cutting company.

The challenge: Equipment failure is a broad risk—one that can affect organizations of all kinds. What’s more, equipment failure isn’t always the result of a specific catastrophe, and many events that lead to a breakdown are out of a company’s control. Recently, a power surge caused by a major storm destroyed two circuit boards at a metal cutting shop. This unexpected outage left the business without the necessary machinery to continue operations. Furthermore, in order to meet production deadlines, shop workers had to travel to the company’s sister location. Between the lost time, travel expenses and repair costs, the organization experienced $52,000 in losses—all from just one storm. Equipment breakdown insurance in action: Equipment outages and breakdowns are not generally covered under standard commercial insurance policies. Instead, organizations should acquire comprehensive breakdown insurance to cover the cost to repair or replace damaged equipment. In addition, the insurance reimburses companies for lost time, which can prove invaluable following a sudden outage.

Claims Scenario: Spoiler Alert

The company: A small, family-owned restaurant.

The challenge: A restaurant recently experienced major losses after several of their refrigerators stopped working. The restaurant depends on these appliances to deliver fresh food to their clients. After several attempts to fix the system, the restaurant had to close for the day and call for repair services. Not only did the restaurant have to pay over $1,000 in maintenance costs, they also lost about $18,000 worth of food products due to spoilage—a major hit for a small business. Insurance in action: Just one equipment failure can lead to multiple losses, including lost revenue from business interruptions and lost product from spoilage. Thankfully, breakdown insurance can protect against these risks. In fact, equipment breakdown insurance is one of the few ways restaurants and other food-related businesses can recoup losses from spoiled inventory. An outage of any kind could easily result in the inability to prepare, cook, serve and sell food. As such, organizations need to secure the right policy to ensure their business is protected before, during and after an breakdown.

Learn More About Equipment Breakdown Insurance

Problems with your equipment can be extremely risky if you are not properly insured. What’s more, standard property insurance policies do not guarantee cover for these types of losses. In these instances, breakdown insurance is invaluable, protecting you in the face of unforeseen damage or breakdowns. Consult Hardenbergh Insurance Group today to learn more about equipment breakdown insurance to combat costly, and often unpredictable, problems at your place of business. We have the commercial property expertise to help you mitigate your risks and protect your bottom line.

Brian Blaston Hardenbergh

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Lightning Safety for Outdoor Workers

lightning safetyLet’s look at lightning safety for your outdoor workforce. Although about 90 percent of people struck by lightning survive, these strikes can cause serious and permanent disabilities. And, even if employees aren’t hurt by lightning, they may be at risk from any fires, explosions or other hazards that result from a strike. Together, these facts outline the importance of protecting employees who work outdoors from lightning hazards.

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There are a number of ways to do this, including taking steps to reduce lightning hazards, creating an emergency
action plan and training your workforce.

All of your managers, supervisors and outdoor workers should collaborate on your plan to ensure it accounts for your business’s unique operations. Consider these tips when you’re drafting your plan:

Train all employees on lightning safety, including early warning systems for severe weather and the best locations to take shelter when working outdoors.

Post information on lightning safety around all of your outdoor work areas. These postings should indicate the location of safe shelters, when to stop and resume work after hearing thunder, and any other guidance that applies to your business or work sites.

Make sure employees check weather reports before working outside. Employees should also check the weather at each work site they’ll be visiting each day, as weather patterns can vary widely—even over short distances.

Require employees and supervisors to monitor weather reports regularly once they’re at an outdoor work site. Have employees stop work and seek shelter immediately if they hear any thunder.

For more resources to help keep your outdoor workers safe, contact Hardenbergh Insurance Group today.

Brian Blaston Hardenbergh

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Market Value and Replacement Cost

Market Value and Replacement CostDo you know the market value and replacement cost of your commercial building? In today’s article we discuss market value and replacement cost and obtaining the best insurance policy.

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If you own commercial property, choosing a property insurance policy that fits your specific needs is important. A wide variety of policy options are available at different prices that cover an assortment of reimbursement options. Although there are policies that offer a large amount of financial coverage, depending on the type of property that will be insured, it may make more financial sense to pick a policy that still offers adequate coverage while having lower premiums. Commercial properties can be covered in a variety of ways, and a number of factors can determine whether your property’s value goes up or down each year. Knowing how much your property is worth, market value and replacement cost, and obtaining the insurance policy that both protects you and suits your financial needs is important. The following are descriptions of common types of policies and valuation, and the costs that they generally cover.

MARKET VALUE

Simply put, market value describes the estimated amount that a property would sell for on the date of valuation. Any land included in a commercial property is also a part of its market value. The term market value can be used interchangeably with open market value, fair market value or fair value. A number of factors are considered when a property’s market value is appraised, some of which cannot be influenced by the buyer, seller or appraiser. These include the location of the property, capitalization rates, rent growth rate, the general state of the real estate market and more. Market value is most often used when buying or selling a property. However, it may also be examined when determining the type of insurance policy to place on a property, or the amount of compensation in the case of a loss.

REPLACEMENT COST

Replacement or reconstruction cost is a type of insurance that covers the cost to replace or repair a building with materials of the same or comparable quality. For the purposes of coverage—and unlike market value—replacement cost policies do not include the value of any land and is determined based on the amount needed to hire contractors and purchase materials to repair a building or construct a replacement.

Functional replacement cost coverage can also be used to repair a partially damaged property with less expensive materials, such as replacing a wall with drywall instead of plaster. The main reason for using functional replacement cost coverage would be to save money with lower premiums, so it may be a good option for properties that use expensive materials that are not necessary to the function of the property or for buildings with intangible value that is not relevant to their commercial function.

WHICH TYPE OF COVERAGE BEST FITS YOUR NEEDS?
The value of any piece of commercial property changes constantly. Knowing your property’s value and obtaining the policy that best suits your needs will safeguard your current and future assets. Contact Hardenbergh Insurance Group today to appraise your property’s value and learn more about which type of policy is best for you.

For more information, contact:

Brian Blaston
Partner
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955
email: brianb@hig.net
www.hig.net

 

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Tenant Improvements and Betterments

Tenant Improvements and BettermentsLet’s explore how Tenant Improvements and Betterments impact insurance. Suppose that a landlord leases a storefront to a retailer that makes improvements to the facility by adding features to help sell its products. During the lease, a fire breaks out and damages the building, including the features added by the retailer to improve the space. When the insurance claims are made, the following questions arise:

• Who did the improvements belong to?
• Who is responsible for paying the damages?

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Defining Tenant Improvements and Betterments

While legal definitions vary, improvements and betterments are anything that a tenant attaches to the landlord’s real estate that becomes a permanent part of that real estate. Under most leases, such improvements become the property of the landlord and tenants are responsible for repairing or replacing the improvements in the event of loss. However, property policies can be customized to determine whether tenants’ improvements and betterments are covered under the building category or under the contents category.

A Landlord’s View of Tenant Improvements

When a tenant makes substantial improvements and betterments to a building, it adds to the building’s value. In order to realize this added value, the landlord needs to clearly establish who is responsible for damages to that property to avoid insurance complications. In doing so, the landlord typically has to make one of the following decisions:

1. Increase the limits of the property insurance policy to account for this extra value.

2. Add a clause to the rental contract stating that the tenant is responsible for damages to improvements and betterments.

In the absence of one of the aforementioned decisions, the landlord may face penalties in the event that he or she has to make an insurance claim. For example, if a tenant makes $100,000 worth of improvements and betterments to a property that was initially worth $500,000, and a fire destroys the entire building, the insurance adjuster will value the property at $600,000 when processing the claim. But, since most landlords’ property policies consider improvements and betterments as covered property, the landlord may be charged an underinsured penalty if the building’s policy hasn’t been increased to reflect the amount of the improvements
and betterments.

A landlord who does not wish to insure for the values of the improvements and betterments should specifically exclude them.

A Tenant’s View of Tenant Improvements

If the lease requires the landlord to repair or replace tenants’ improvements and betterments that become damaged, the tenant does not need to insure them. In contrast, if the lease does not require the landlord to repair or replace tenants’ improvements and betterments, tenants need to make sure they are covered under their own property policy.

 

Tenant Improvements – Considerations When Entering a Lease

When entering into a new lease or renewal, it is critical for both landlords and tenants to carefully review the terms of the lease to ensure that it adequately delegates the responsibility for insuring tenant improvements and betterments. It is also important to make sure that each party’s insurance policy is adequate enough to properly protect the scope of the tenant improvements agreed upon in the lease. When reviewing the lease, both the landlords and tenants should discuss the following questions:

• Who owns the improvements?
• Who is responsible to replace the improvements if damaged?
• Which insurance policy covers the improvements—the landlord’s or the tenant’s?
• Is the policy adequate?

Insuring Tenant Improvements and Betterments

Tenant Improvements and betterments are not difficult to insure, as a building’s insurance forms automatically cover them. However, many landlords expect their tenants to insure any improvements and betterments that are
made, and some landlords refuse to increase the value of their building policies to reflect the new value of such changes. Therefore, it is important to understand the insurance ramifications of tenants’ improvements and betterments. Hardenbergh Insurance Group can help you identify your exposures and make appropriate recommendations.

For more information on Tenant Improvements and Betterments

Brian Blaston, Partner
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955
email: brianb@hig.net
www.hig.net

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Additional Coverage for Green Buildings Owners & Tenants

coverage for green buildingsLet’s explore insurance coverages for green buildings. So, you’ve decided to go green by buying or renting a LEED-certified building for your business. In addition to a reputational boost for taking strides to help the environment, you will likely also be saving on heating and electricity costs. The next step is to look at your insurance policies and make sure your investment is protected, and that you are covered for the perils associated with green properties and buildings.

Because going green is a still a relatively new phenomenon, your commercial general liability (CGL) policy probably does not specifically address these risks or indicate whether or not they are covered. It is always best to take a close look at your policy to determine if your plans to go green cause any changes. Learn about additional coverage options for green buyers or renters here.

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Upgrading to green buildings

Maybe you want to go green but are not ready or able to fully convert yet. One option that is becoming more common is green upgrade property coverages. These policy additions would allow you to upgrade to a green-certified level in the event of a physical property loss. Update-to-green coverage benefits you because your building has the potential to be even more efficient after a loss, and it puts you at a lower risk of filing construction defect claims in the future because of the rigorous and careful LEED certification process.

Breach of Warrantee/Breach of Contract for Green Buildings

Though a typical CGL policy will cover you for bodily injury, property damage liability and personal injury, breach of warranty and breach of contract are generally excluded. However, when you are a tenant in or an owner of a green-certified building, these are two or the most important kinds of coverages to have. One of the most common claims against property owners or managers is that after construction or years down the road, the green building is not living up to promised standards. The building may not qualify for the LEED certification level promised, or savings on energy may not be as high as marketing and advertising materials guaranteed. You will need additional coverage beyond your CGL policy to protect yourself in this case.

Similarly, problems with tax credits and incentives will require breach of warrantee or breach of contract coverage. If a developer or owner tells you, the prospective buyer or tenant, that they will be able to get a certain number of carbon credits and later cannot deliver, you will need proper coverage to retain the promised return on investment. The amount of necessary coverage will depend on how energy efficient the building is or strives to be. 

Coverage for Non-Performance Investigations of green buildings

If a problem ever arises with your green buildings, you will need to find out who is at fault—the design professional, developer, owner or contractor. Doing so will require extensive testing of the building and its systems to figure out why it is performing under the promised standard. As CGL policies are crafted now, the cost of this investigation may not be covered. CGL policies usually require an occurrence or event—a specific incident where damages happened—to respond. In most green buildings cases, there is no damage to the structure, it just does not perform as efficiently or effectively as the contract specifies.

Therefore, you should consider adding extra protection to your policy that would pay for the cost of finding the at-fault party, which can get extremely expensive if it requires looking into design and construction elements.

New coverages emerging for green buildings

Green buildings are still making their way into the insurance world. There are still grey areas, and insurers are debating whether green buildings add extra perils or reduce risks overall. Some carriers are even beginning to offer discounts for those businesses who decide to become more environmentally responsible. When in doubt about what aspects of your investment  in green buildings are covered, turn to Hardenbergh Insurance Group for guidance. Call (856) 489-9100 today to make us part of your initiative to go green.

Brian Blaston, Partner
Hardenbergh Insurance Group
phone: 856.489.9100 x 139
fax: 856.673.5955
web: www.hig.net

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