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  1. #1

    Default Article: How to protect your tools and equipment

    Hi InspectionNews readers!

    Hope you're all enjoying the summer inspection season. Our latest article was inspired by a question we that kept coming up at shows and on the phone: I know that E&O and GL can protect my business against claims. But is there a type of insurance that can protect my business from loss or damage to all the expensive equipment I use?

    The answer is yes. Equipment coverage, otherwise known as inland marine insurance or a property floater, is an add-on coverage that protects your tools and equipment. Check out the preview below to start learning what the coverage entails, how it works, and what happens when you have a claim.


    How to protect your tools and equipment

    Earlier this year, one of our insured home inspectors sent his radon monitor in for calibration. When the servicing was complete, the manufacturer shipped the monitor back to the home inspector. But, when the inspector returned home, the radon monitor was nowhere to be found.

    The inspector put in a claim with the radon monitor manufacturer, who subsequently put in a claim with the shipping company. Both the manufacturer and the shipping company denied any liability or coverage for the loss. So, the home inspector filed a police report with his county's Sheriff's Department and contacted us, his insurance provider, to see if we could cover the lost radon monitor.

    What is equipment coverage?
    Formally known as inland marine coverage or a commercial property floater, equipment coverage insures your inspection tools and equipment. Unlike standard property insurance, inland marine coverage protects your tools and equipment regardless of their location. This is important in the home inspection industry since, rather than housing your tools and equipment in an office, you usually have your materials in your work vehicle or on inspection sites.

    In most cases, equipment coverage for home inspectors reimburses you for the actual cash value (not the cost of the items brand-new) of your stolen or damaged equipment or tools. Oftentimes, coverage extends to not just items you own but items you lease or rent.

    Most home inspection tools and equipment are eligible for inland marine insurance endorsements. Examples of typical inland marine insurance claims include:

    • Someone burglarizes your locked inspection vehicle and swipes your drone.
    • As you're taking inspection photos, you trip and drop your digital camera, breaking the lens.
    • While inspecting the roof, someone steals your infrared camera, which you left at the base of your ladder.
    • Someone takes your leased radon monitor from where you left it overnight on the inspection site.
    • While taking off, you lose control of your drone and crash it to the ground, damaging the wings and internal computer.

    Many equipment insurance policies cover physical loss or damage caused by perils, such as falling objects, fire, lightening, sink hole collapse, vandalism, vehicles, and water damage. To see what perils are and are not covered, review the Conditions and Definitions sections of your inland marine policy.

    How does equipment coverage work?
    Typically, equipment coverage is subject to your "schedule of coverages," which describes the property you'd like the insurance company to insure. Most insurance companies require that inspectors provide property descriptions?including the make, model, and serial number?for any items worth more than a certain amount.

    Here at InspectorPro, we require property descriptions for any items worth $500 or more. For any items worth less than $500, InspectorPro insureds may still cover the property as "miscellaneous tools" without providing make, model, and serial information for each tool. The only caveat is that miscellaneous tools cannot exceed $2,500 in total value.


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    Last edited by Stephanie Jaynes; 07-15-2019 at 03:48 PM. Reason: All of the apostrophes, quotation marks, and em dashes turned into question marks.
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    Stephanie Jaynes
    Marketing Director
    InspectorPro Insurance
    We Protect. You Inspect.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Article: How to protect your tools and equipment

    is inland marine only an add-on? or can it be a standalone?

    Tony Escamilla
    Villa Home Inspections

  3. #3

    Default Re: Article: How to protect your tools and equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Escamilla View Post
    is inland marine only an add-on? or can it be a standalone?
    Great question, Tony! It honestly depends on how much coverage you're looking for. For larger coverage amounts, it's possible to have stand-alone inland marine coverage with a business owner's policy (BOP). But for smaller coverage amounts, you can run into minimum premium issues that can make costs expensive. In that case, it's best to have an insurance policy already in place and then add the inland marine on. If you already have a home inspector insurance policy it's pretty straightforward to do.

    All that being said, the best way to get cost estimates is by getting a quote.

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