Contractor’s Risks: Insuring Survey equipment

On Monday, I commented on an advertisement in Contractor’s magazine and now I found something else to discuss: How to insure specialized equipment. I noticed a surveying machine produced by Topcon Positioning Systems and it reminded me of a policy I was working on last year. This type of equipment can be easily be improperly insured.


The very nature of the equipment centers on portability and thus, the coverage should follow it around or “float” with it. Insuring mobile equipment such as survey equipment becomes complicated due to the values involved.

Many contractor policies have coverage for tools as they go from one jobsite to another but the insurance company usually provides coverage up to a certain amount- let’s call it $1000 per tool (even if you have $20,000 coverage). After that point they want you to “schedule” the item.

Scheduling a piece of equipment involves coming to an agreed upon value for that equipment should an insured loss occur. All parties will know what the piece of equipment is (Make, Model and Serial Number), and the price that was paid for it. 

Sounds pretty straight forward right? It is – BUT, you will have to be ready for the price tag. Scheduling an item will cost you money on top of the premium charged for the general floating equipment. The price will fluctuate with the type of equipment and the exposure to loss that is and will be present.
Keep this in mind when you review your existing policy or sign up for a new one – you want to make sure that the expensive pieces are coverage and that if a loss occurs, you get your pay out because time is always money.

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