It’s Power Surge Season – Are You Protected?

Contributed by Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company

Did You Know?

Air Conditioning Losses Rise with the Temperature

It’s no surprise that summer is the peak time for air conditioning losses. HSB monthly claim data shows that air conditioning breakdowns occur most frequently in June and July as systems work hard to cope with heat and humidity. A compressor may be worth $20,000 or more. A centrifugal chiller might cost as much as $40,000 to replace. Lost income can total much more. But many air conditioning breakdowns can be prevented. Your clients can learn more about proper maintenance and operation by visiting the Equipment Care section of our website.

Warmer weather brings the increased risk of equipment damage from lightning, utility breakdowns and other causes of high voltage power surges. Storms and heavy demand for air conditioning lead to millions of dollars in losses because of overloaded electrical circuits. Do your clients have insurance protection that pays for business equipment damaged by power surges, lost income and related expenses?

Hot weather increases exposures

Power surges are a leading cause of equipment breakdown and property damage. Artificially generated power surges can come from normal utility switching operations, or when a power line falls to the ground. Surges can also come from within a building from air conditioners, heating systems, production machinery, elevators, motors and pumps, arc welders and other equipment. They can occur at any time of the year, but hot weather increases the chances for power disruptions.

Power drain leads to losses

Power surges also can result from electrical brownouts and blackouts as the demand for electricity increases in warmer weather. The damage occurs not when electricity suddenly cuts out, but when it resumes, sending a surge of voltage through the lines. It doesn’t take much to damage today’s sensitive electrical and electronic equipment.

It can happen to anyone

HSB pays thousands of claims for equipment damage and related expenses due to manmade power surges each year in commercial locations. Virtually any of your clients could have a surge-related breakdown like these:

  • A power outage and subsequent surge damaged the communications system and emergency generator in a 100-patient nursing home. Total paid loss: $55,658.
  • Arcing and a surge from a substation severely damaged the electrical system of a warehouse. Total paid loss: $226,569.
  • A utility power surge damaged the computers and telephone system in the offices of a dental practice. Total paid loss: $32,905.

The coverage they need

Power surges are a leading cause of electrical equipment damage. With districts so dependent on electrical and electronic equipment, an unexpected surge can result in a serious loss. Surge protection systems are the best defense against high voltage, but there is no guarantee they will prevent a breakdown.

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