Protect your equipment, avoid costly claims | The Daily Reporter – Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 2021-09-24 05:33:18 –

John Wallen is Vice President and Practical Leader of Construction in Wisconsin, Global Insurance Broker Hub International.

This is a classic story about the theft of construction machinery. A few years ago, a rented skid steer loader was stolen from a construction site. The theft took only 10 minutes, as recorded by the security camera, but included a universal key that could lead to other thefts on the Waukesha site.

A year later, the city of Baraboo announced a series of construction plans, resulting in a surge in equipment theft. Suddenly, the town became the site of the theft of 30 devices, making it the city with the highest rate of theft to the population in the country.

Equipment theft is a serious problem across the United States, with 600 to 1,200 cases annually. The worst part is that the problem is bigger than just replacing the stolen equipment. If the equipment runs out, the contractor will have to pay in other ways. Increased spending such as project delays, lost or wasted man-hours, rental equipment costs and premium increases. In fact, the National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates that construction theft costs an average of $ 400 million annually, including both direct and indirect costs.

5 steps to protect the site

Individual contractors may feel helpless. After all, if the Waukesha Skid Steer Loader is stolen from where the security cameras are, what can someone do to further mitigate the risk? However, taking preventative security measures does have a real impact. There are five protocols that can make a difference.

  • Label everything and keep a record. Nearly 1500 skid steer loaders were stolen in 2015. If you are one of the skid steer loaders, you cannot identify the skid steer loader and accelerate recovery without labeling. In fact, it’s a good idea to give your company name to all your equipment, including attachments. Use welding or etching tools to prevent the name from being easily removed. We encourage you to consider Microdot technology. This is a labeling method that involves etching a series of small invisible dots into equipment that is displayed with special lighting or magnification. It is also important to keep inventory of all equipment on the site and its location. This allows you to identify the missing equipment as soon as possible.
  • Enhance security with multiple defenses. Criminals are not asking for a challenge. They want a quick victory. With multiple layers of security, the average criminal looks elsewhere. Start with locked building exterior walls, locked doors, and hard-to-climb fences. This could be a simple wire mesh fence covered with a sheet of plywood. Advertise 24-hour video surveillance and put warning signs on passers-by to remind passers-by of trespassing penalties. We aim to reduce the number of access points as much as possible and closely monitor them with technology or security guards 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Arrange proper lighting and consider motion detection monitors and alarms.
  • Take advantage of technology. In large sites with numerous tools and equipment, the Internet of Things (IoT) solution needs to be heavily considered. It’s expensive, but it combines lighting, monitors, and alarms to protect your equipment in real time. In addition, these sensors also help identify other risks such as fires and floods. Only a few strategically placed sensors can have a significant impact on your site. GPS trackers are no longer vehicle-only. Often, a small hidden tracker can expose the storage of many valuable equipment. Today, GPS trackers can be smaller than mobile phones and are commonly attached to items such as generators, welders, and trailers. Make sure that the tracker is placed in an unobtrusive location and will not be immediately disabled in the event of theft. From comprehensive high-tech systems to inexpensive deployments with flexible power solutions, don’t forget motion sensing cameras. These cameras are wired or solar powered and can rely on cell phone signals or Wi-Fi. When they sense movement, an automatic message is sent to the mobile phone in real time. Some vendors also offer 24/7 monitoring.
  • Identify the risk. Pay special attention to the most endangered items, such as portable and operable devices. These are the most commonly stolen parts. If possible, place small equipment inside a locked building. Anything that can be mounted on the vehicle and driven away should be hidden to obscure it. Protect these items from theft using hydraulic locks and hidden cutting.
  • Hide it. If you can secure and properly secure the parts, it is convenient to have a suitable storage location. In addition, a little common sense can help. Require employees to return keys and small portable devices to a suitable and safe place, rather than keeping everything on-site for convenience. We also recommend avoiding “universal” keys, which can endanger the entire site in the event of theft.

Ensuring adequate coverage to protect your business

Even if you do everything you can, you can lose your equipment due to theft. The secret is to ensure adequate coverage to avoid costly billing-related issues and interruptions in work. Unfortunately, few contractors have adequate insurance to protect their full interests. For example, most construction companies do not have sufficient coverage to replace equipment because the cost of new equipment exceeds coverage or auxiliary equipment is not excluded from the policy. Even with sufficient coverage, there may be no rental refunds or loss of usage compensation to reduce work delays due to equipment shortages. Depending on your business, there are some additional coverage considerations or potential gaps to consider.

The best thing to do is to talk to your broker.

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