Your firefighters depend on their portable equipment to protect themselves and their communities from fires and other dangerous situations. An inland marine insurance policy may help cover your equipment while responding to the latest emergency. Your fire department also needs specialized fleet insurance to cover all of your vehicles, from the large ladder trucks and fire engines down to the SUVs and brush trucks. Your fleet insurance policy needs to offer more specific coverage than typical insurance since your vehicles are often in dangerous situations and are prone to risk and damage.
Use the yellow hot spots and explore how fire department insurance can help protect against common risks.
So much of firefighting depends on expensive portable equipment. From air tanks and hoses to specialized uniforms and more, damage or loss to any of these pieces could mean your department is facing steep costs to replace them.
Portable equipment insurance is a type of inland marine coverage that can provide protection for your equipment while you’re responding to an emergency. It’s a good supplement to commercial property coverage since many commercial property policies only cover equipment when it’s located on the insured premises.
Fire engines, ladder trucks, SUVs, brush trucks—you name it, your fire department probably has it. When bringing so many vehicles into dangerous situations, there are plenty of opportunities for damage and accidents to occur.
Take stock of the vehicles owned and used by your fire department and look into obtaining a specialized fleet insurance policy to cover them. Your policy will most likely need more specific coverage to protect your vehicles than other businesses since your vehicles will be more prone to risk.
If you’re a volunteer fire department, allowing volunteers to drive your vehicles to emergency locations is often a necessity. However, it’s not risk-free, and your business could be faced with serious consequences following an accident, especially if you don’t have the right auto liability coverage in place.
Standard auto liability might not be enough to cover volunteer drivers. In this case, you’ll want to look into a non-owned auto liability policy that can provide accident protection to drivers who don’t own the vehicles and aren’t directly employed by your fire department.
Fire departments face significant pollutant risks through emergency responses as well as equipment washdowns and training activities. Spills and other misuses could result in cleanup expenses, and you could also be held responsible for damage to third parties and regulatory fines.
Pollutant cleanup and removal insurance can help cover the costs of injuries and property damage that occur as a result of a pollutant spill or leak. This could include coverage not only at your department building but also while responding to an emergency or while your pollutants are being transported for disposal.
Saving lives can sometimes involve close contact with people and sometimes in compromising positions. All allegations must be addressed whether they have merit or not. No matter what, defending accusations in court and potentially paying damages can cost your fire department significantly.
Sexual misconduct and molestation liability offers coverage against claims of misconduct and molestation and can help cover the costs of your department’s defense. Depending on the coverage, it can extend to a range of employees, including volunteers with your organization. In some cases, it may also help cover trainings and other preventative measures.
Fire departments are often at the center of their community and their fire halls often make great gathering spaces. However, renting out your fire hall to the public comes with significant damage risks.
Rental hall coverage can help protect your property while it’s rented out to the public. This can include coverage for physical damage to the hall and other property resulting from the rental’s use.
As your local fire department, you often engage with the community through events. Fire department-sponsored town fairs, festivals, concerts, and more are often common ways to raise money and garner community support. However, running events can be costly, so what happens if you need to cancel? Now you’re out the money you invested and the potential revenue you could have earned.
If you have to cancel your event due to a covered peril, event cancellation insurance can help your business with lost expenses and revenues. Some coverages are even known as “all-cause” coverage, meaning they cover anything that isn’t explicitly excluded, including events like severe weather, labor strikes, and even terrorism. Premiums for this coverage are often based on gross revenue or expenses for the event and the risk of cancellation.
When people think of emergency medicine, EMS and ambulance professionals usually spring to mind. But as first responders, you know better than anyone that sometimes it’s all hands on deck when it comes to saving lives. Many places have laws to protect first responders from malpractice suits, but that doesn’t mean you’re always protected.
While in most cases your department is protected by medical malpractice as first responders, if one of your firefighters, while providing medical care, does something intentional, reckless, or glaringly negligent, you could be held liable and sued for malpractice. Medical malpractice insurance can protect your department and help cover associated costs in these instances.
The nature of responding to emergencies often involves coming into contact with personal items. What happens if one of your firefighters steals something from someone you’re trying to help? What happens if one of your firefighters steals from your department? If you don’t have adequate coverage, your department could face significant financial loss.
A commercial crime insurance policy can cover a wide variety of crimes committed by your employees. For instance, if a firefighter steals from a victim and you’re held liable for negligent hiring, crime insurance can help cover the costs of your defense and, possibly, damage payouts. If a firefighter steals from your department, crime insurance can cover physical property, as well as financial theft such as fraud, siphoning off funds, and bogus invoicing.
If you welcome the public to your department for tours, field trips, or other events, you open yourself up to many risks if an accident occurs involving one of your visitors. The same goes for when your department responds to an emergency. If a bystander wanders onto the scene, you could potentially be held liable for any injuries they suffer due to your presence.
Premises liability coverage can offer protection to your department for visitors to your property. This includes coverage for any injuries or damages they suffer during their visit. Off-premises liability insurance is the coverage you need for your department while you’re responding to an emergency. This can include protections for injuries and damages someone could suffer while walking around the scene–such as a fall from slipping on a puddle created by one of your hoses.
As members of your community, your fire department is often relied on to dispense helpful and trustworthy fire safety information, practices, and tips. If you misspeak or convey that information incorrectly and someone gets hurt, you could potentially be held liable.
Errors and omissions (E&O) liability insurance protects businesses, including fire departments, that offer advice, give educated recommendations, design solutions, or represent the needs of others. Make sure to have this coverage if you provide any of these services to your community.
The internet has spun a whole new web of liability exposures. Social networking, new communications technology, and other technological advances help foster your department’s growth and access to your community. But with these benefits also come challenges, including protection of privacy, data, and the financial information of your department.
Cyber liability insurance protects your business in the event of unauthorized access to electronic data or software within your network. It also provides coverage for spreading a virus, extortion, accidental release of personal identifiable information, and resultant damage caused by a lost or stolen laptop or other mobile device. This coverage is quickly becoming more and more important as you embrace technology to help run your department.
Any commercial property is at risk for damage due to fire or other events, even your fire station. Not only are your building and other structures on your property susceptible, everything inside from office furniture to inventory is at risk as well.
Commercial property insurance can help protect the property your business owns or leases, as well as things like equipment, inventory, furniture, and fixtures. Whether you own your building or lease the space, commercial property insurance can be purchased separately or can be combined with other necessary coverage to protect your business’s physical assets.
Your commissioners, trustees, directors, officers, volunteers, and employees all represent your fire department. If one of these parties commits a wrongful act while acting in an official capacity for your department, you could be held liable for the damages that result from it.
Having D&O liability coverage is important to protect your fire department from these situations. D&O liability insurance can provide coverage for the legal costs to defend a covered lawsuit and may provide the money necessary for settlements beyond the defense cost.
There’s a reason firefighters are often considered heroes by their communities. It’s because they’ll run into a burning building to save lives despite the risk to themselves. Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job. If they get hurt on the job, they will be covered. It’s not only protection for your department, it’s protection for your firefighters. Coverage requirements may vary by locale, however, so it’s important to have the proper coverage in place.
If you have active volunteers in your fire department, you’ll want to make sure your policy covers them for things like medical expenses, indemnity for loss of life or other injuries, as well as income protection due to disability.
There are several environmental pollution concerns that fire departments should be aware of. Pollutants can arise from emergency responses as well as equipment washdowns and training activities. Defending environmental claims can be expensive. Having environmental impairment insurance may help protect your department financially in case of a claim of environmental damage.
You’ll need commercial property insurance for your firehouse. And in this digital age, your department will need cyber liability insurance which can offer protection if your computer network is hacked. You’ll also need to consider general business coverages like employment practice liability insurance, errors and omissions liability insurance (E&O), as well as directors and officers liability insurance (D&O).
To learn more about the importance of fire department insurance for your organization, contact us.