May 04, 2018 @ 12:00am best to protect and make their property as “marketable as possible” to the insurance carriers who underwrite their coverage.

In this article I will:

  • Outline ways to assist in protecting your property against a loss and improving your chances for the best coverage for the best ratefrom the property carriers, and
  • Discuss some key coverage provisions to look for in a property proposal, as all carriers have different forms for insuring your property and it is important to know the key coveragesto look for in a quote.

First, Risk Management 101:

To manage risk we must be planning, organizing, controlling and allocating resources to mitigate a potential loss to the district. As a CSRM (Certified School Risk Manager) my role is to help you implement key practices in assessing your risk. For example, does your district have a policy statement about your goals related to preserving your property? If so, does your statement have the support of administration, and does your building and grounds committee fully understand it?

In my career I have assisted various School District clients through severe loss – everything from fires, to severe vandalism claims and damaged roofs due to high winds. In every case, a lesson was unfortunately learned after the loss.

  • In one such case, a faulty power strip cord overheated, causing fire and smoke damage throughout the building, resulting in a $6 million loss.
  • Failing to inspect a roof (hint here: AT LEAST once a year, your district should have a formal roof inspection per location) can result in completely preventable occurrences due to blocked downspouts or damage due to a hard winter. There are many companies that will perform professional roof inspections and provide your district a detailed report on any damage and the life left in your roof. 

Best advice – proactively utilize your property insurance company loss control people to assist in property inspections to identify areas to correct.

In a previous career, I was an engineering consultant that performed many such property inspections. Here are a few tips to make your property more marketable to the insurance carriers that may be quoting your insurance:

  1. Does your school have a central station alarm system? Having a central station that will sound an alarm at a remote location is essential. Most carriers want this as a protection for school buildings. If your school does not have central station alarms, I would recommend putting that on the capital budget as soon as possible.
  2. Have a preventative maintenance scheduleand inspection process for your buildings. I was recently at a school that had a detailed five year plan for building improvements for HVAC, roof projects, window replacement and upgrading the boilers. This shows the underwriter that you have a plan of action to maintain your buildings for the long term.
  3. Where is your water sourceto your buildings? How close are the fire hydrants? If you are not aware of water pressure readings for hydrants near your buildings, you can go to your local municipality clerk’s office, or the water department, and obtain the latest pressure readings. Sometimes the ISO reports the carriers use are outdated and recent reports from the municipality can help obtain a better proposal.
  4. Do you know the fire protection classfor your municipality? Class 1-8 properties are very marketable to carriers. If you have buildings in protection class 9 or 10 (usually rural), it is essential to have all the protections in place to obtain a competitive proposal.
  5. Housekeeping: When I inspected a property, there was a correlation between the quality of housekeeping in a building and the history of claims for that building.
  6. Inspectorslook for:
    • Clear space in front of electrical panels;
    • Flammables properly labeled and stored in the correct cabinets;
    • Combustibles properly stored in shop class and maintenance areas;
    • Chemicals properly stored in the science labs;
    • Theatre props safely secured and the area properly lit.

Essentially what all of this comes down to is having the right advice from a knowledgeable insurance professional who is proactive on your District’s behalf. At TRICOR we earn our reputation every day by understanding every detail. Our key objectives are to help you prevent loss if at all possible, and be there with you through a claim.

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Post tags:Schools


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