Fire Department Insurance Policy Information
Fire Department Insurance. A fire department may be in charge of one or multiple fire stations - which are staffed by firefighters and paramedics, also known as EMTs or emergency medical technicians. Aided by fire engines, fire trucks, and ambulances, these brave professionals are quite literally in the business of heading straight for danger, in order to save others from it.
Fire departments respond to requests for emergency assistance due to a fire, accident, or health crisis within their community. Some fire departments are paid; volunteers staff others. They are funded by tax dollars, donations, or a combination of both.
Fire departments are headquartered in firehouses, which generally include an office, garage, and repair area for vehicles and equipment. There may be meeting rooms for training and community events. If firefighters are paid, there will be a kitchen and sleeping facilities as they will staff the firehouse 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Some fire departments provide ancillary community services such as inspecting residential smoke alarms or presenting talks about fire safety to civic and school groups.
While fire departments typically operate under the umbrella of public service, private and commercially-run fire houses have also started to emerge in more recent times.
Fire departments play an essential role in public safety, and in doing so, they face a multitude of risks, despite grueling training and state-of-the-art protective equipment.
This is just one reason why it is crucial for fire departments to carry proper insurance. What kinds of fire department insurance coverage might a fire station need? Discover more by reading on.
Fire department insurance protects fire stations from lawsuits with rates as low as $129/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked fire station insurance questions:
- What Is Fire Department Insurance?
- How Much Does Fire Department Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Fire Departments Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Fire Departments Need?
- What Does Fire Department Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Fire Department Insurance?
Fire Department Insurance is a type of insurance coverage specifically designed for fire departments and their needs. This insurance can provide protection for the department and its employees from financial losses due to property damage, liability claims, and other unexpected events that may occur during their duties.
This coverage can also help cover costs for training, equipment, and other resources that may be necessary for fire departments to carry out their duties effectively.
How Much Does Fire Department Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small fire houses ranges from $129 to $177 per month based on location, size, number of trucks, claims history and more.
Why Do Fire Departments Need Insurance?
While no organization can ever be completely free from risk, fire departments are routinely confronted by hazards as part of their daily activities.
It will not surprise anybody that firefighters, in particular, have a high risk of suffering occupational injuries such as burns, as well as that they develop exposure-related cancers in much higher numbers than the general population.
In these instances, fire departments shoulder the often considerable cost of the resulting medical expenses. Fire trucks, engines, and ambulances may also become damaged over the course of the working day, requiring immediate repair or replacement.
In addition to these industry-specific hazards, fire departments can still be confronted by the same perils that may impact any residence, business, or public entity.
Theft and vandalism can cause significant property damage, for example, while the acts of nature - earthquakes, wildfires, serious floods and storms, and others - that fire departments play a role in rescuing others from may also cause monumental damage to fire department buildings.
Those people who work in fire stations are more intimately familiar than most with the fact that no preventative measure can stop disaster from striking.
Carrying the right fire department insurance protects fire departments by serving their financial interest after the latest challenge, making it vital not only for liability reasons, but also for public safety.
What Type Of Insurance Do Fire Departments Need?
Fire department buildings need to equip themselves with a range of insurance policies. The exact nature of a fire department's insurance needs depend on factors that include the jurisdiction, the types of vehicles used, and the number of employees and their job description.
Because obtaining the insurance coverage that best protect a fire department from the financial fallout of major perils can be extremely challenging, it is vital to partner with an insurance broker who specializes in crafting insurance plans for public entities with high risk profiles.
Having said that, some examples of important fire department insurance are:
- Commercial Property - Should the fire department building be struck by the same types of perils firefighters generally rescue others from, such as acts of nature, intentionally-set fires, or other accidents, property insurance covers a significant portion of the costs associated with the resulting damage.
- General Liability - This type of insurance covers the legal expenses associated with third party bodily injury or property damage claims, such as a situation in which a member of the public is injured on fire house premises. Excess liability insurance, which helps cover costs that stretch beyond those covered by general liability insurance, may also be considered.
- Workers' Compensation - Firefighters and EMTs can suffer both acute occupational injuries, such as burns or broken bones, and be diagnosed with occupational illnesses resulting from, for example, smoke inhalation. Workers' compensation insurance covers the medical costs of employees injured on the job, as well as lost wages if they are not able to return to work. In the worst cases, workers' compensation insurance additionally covers death benefits.
- Mobile Equipment - This type of fire department insurance applies to mobile equipment too large to be classified as a motor vehicle - such as fire trucks and engines.
- Business Auto - Fire departments will additionally require auto insurance to cover their smaller vehicles.
Bear in mind that fire departments may require additional forms of insurance beyond those covered within this list - your insurance needs depend on your unique situation.
For the best possible protection and the peace of mind it affords, fire houses should obtain their fire department insurance from an insurer who is deeply committed to the public sector.
Fire Department's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is moderate if visitors are allowed or tours are given. Fire trucks, ambulances, and equipment normally kept on the premises pose an attractive nuisance exposure, particularly to children. If community events are conducted on the premises, there should be adequate supervision of all visitors.
To prevent trips, slips, and falls, housekeeping must be excellent. Adequate lighting, marked exits, and egress are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well lit, marked, and in good maintenance and repair.
Off-premises exposures can be substantial as crowds may be drawn to an emergency site. Hoses, ladders and other firefighting equipment placed on the ground can result in slips or falls. The area should be secured in order to prevent public access to the site of operations.
While firefighting activities often benefit from immunity laws, activities that are not directly related to firefighting will not qualify for that immunity in many jurisdictions. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged wrongful detention, invasion of privacy, or discrimination.
Workers compensation exposure is severe from both a frequency and severity standpoint. Firefighters must be thoroughly trained with a continuing education program in place. Injuries can occur due to burns, back injuries, strains or sprains from lifting, asphyxiation, skin or lung irritants, explosions, slips, falls, and hearing impairment from loud sirens and alarms.
Temperature extremes, both from heat and cold, can result in disorientation from fatigue. Exposure to asbestos, building collapses, communicable diseases, lead dust, or toxic chemicals are possible. It is important that gear is kept clean and free of dust and soot. Protective equipment is required.
Animals or unruly passers-by may attack firefighters at emergency sites. Traveling to an emergency situation can result in collisions or overturns, especially when traveling at high speeds or during adverse road conditions.
Firefighters encounter a lot of stress in their jobs, from waiting for emergency calls to the injuries and deaths they routinely witness firsthand. The accumulation of these experiences can result in cumulative post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Property exposure is low, with ignition sources limited to electrical wiring, laundry, heating, and air conditioning equipment. Wiring must be well maintained and up to code. Any cooking must be done under a hood or in the oven.
Garages for storing, fueling, and maintaining vehicles and equipment must be separated from office facilities. Smoking should be prohibited, especially in the sleeping areas. Firefighters or dispatchers occupy the building most of the time. When they leave to make a run, the building should be secured against unauthorized access.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be performed on all employees handling money.
Inland marine exposure is from computers, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records for information about emergency responses and suppliers. There may be accounts receivable if the fire department bills residents, businesses, or insurers for emergency services after an event.
Fire-fighting equipment on the trucks includes telecommunication devices, hoses, breathing equipment and more. They should be stored on the truck and monitored to prevent theft. Equipment should be tested and evaluated regularly. If the building is used for community purposes such as bingo, dinners, or elections, bailees coverage should be considered for items stored for others.
Duplicates of all records should be kept off site for easy restoration in the event of a loss.
Commercial auto exposure is very high as drivers are often traveling on public roads under emergency conditions and during severe weather. Drivers must be trained to verify that intersections are clear before going through red lights. MVRs must be ordered regularly on all drivers. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
What Does Fire Department Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Fire Departments may face lawsuits for various reasons, and insurance can play a vital role in protecting them against the financial consequences of these legal actions. Some common reasons for lawsuits against Fire Departments and how insurance can help are outlined below:
Professional negligence: Fire Departments can be sued for alleged negligence in carrying out their duties, such as failing to extinguish a fire promptly or causing additional damage to property during firefighting efforts. Professional Liability Insurance, also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance, can help cover the legal defense costs and potential settlements or judgments arising from such lawsuits.
Personal injury: If a firefighter or third party is injured during a rescue or firefighting operation, the Fire Department may be held responsible for the injury. General Liability Insurance covers bodily injury claims and can help pay for the legal defense, settlements, and judgments related to these claims.
Property damage: Fire Departments can be sued for property damage caused during their operations, such as inadvertently damaging adjacent properties during firefighting efforts. General Liability Insurance can also cover property damage claims, providing financial protection for legal defense costs, settlements, and judgments.
Employment practices: Fire Departments may face lawsuits from current or former employees for issues related to hiring, firing, discrimination, harassment, or other workplace disputes. Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) can help cover the legal defense costs, settlements, and judgments related to these types of claims.
Auto accidents: Fire Departments operate various emergency vehicles, and accidents involving these vehicles can lead to lawsuits. Commercial Auto Insurance can cover the costs associated with vehicle accidents, including legal defense, settlements, and judgments related to third-party bodily injury or property damage claims.
Workers' compensation: Firefighters face a high risk of injury on the job, and Workers' Compensation Insurance is required to provide coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs for work-related injuries or illnesses. If an employee feels that their workers' compensation claim was mishandled, they may sue the Fire Department. Workers' Compensation Insurance can help cover the legal defense costs and potential settlements or judgments in such cases.
By securing appropriate insurance coverage, Fire Departments can protect themselves from the financial burden of legal defense costs, settlements, and judgments related to various types of lawsuits.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 9224 Fire Protection
- NAICS CODE: 922160 Fire Protection
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 7710 Firefighters & Drivers, 7711 Firefighters & Drivers - Volunteer
Description for 9224: Fire Protection
Division J: Public Administration | Major Group 92: Justice, Public Order, And Safety | Industry Group 922: Public Order And Safety
9224 Fire Protection: Government establishments primarily engaged in firefighting and other related fire protection activities. Government and private establishments primarily engaged in forest firefighting and fire protection services are classified in Agriculture, Industry 0851. Private establishments primarily engaged in other firefighting services are classified in Services, Industry 7389.
- Fire departments, including volunteer-government
- Fire marshals'offices-government
- Fire prevention offices-government
Fire Department Insurance - The Bottom Line
To find out more about the specific types of fire department insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage you should carry, consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Additional Resources For Local, State And Federal Government Insurance
Learn about commercial insurance for local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings.
- County Administration Offices
- Fire Departments
- Government Buildings
- Law Enforcement Entities
- Public Buildings
- Specialty Government
The local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings industry needs business insurance for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, business insurance helps protect against financial loss. Governments and their agencies often handle large amounts of money, assets and sensitive information, making them a target for theft, fraud and other criminal activities. Insurance can help cover the costs associated with recovering from these types of losses.
In addition, government agencies and buildings are at risk for natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Commercial insurance can help cover the costs of repairing damage caused by these types of events.
Furthermore, government agencies and services often deal with the public on a daily basis, making them vulnerable to liability claims. For example, if a government building is not properly maintained and a visitor slips and falls, the agency could be held liable for the injuries sustained. Insurance can help cover the costs of legal proceedings and any damages awarded.
Lastly, commercial insurance can help protect against unexpected disruptions in operations. For example, if a government agency's computer systems were to crash, it could disrupt the agency's ability to function effectively. Business insurance can help cover the costs of getting the agency back up and running as quickly as possible.
Overall, the local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings industry needs insurance to protect against financial loss, natural disasters, liability claims and disruptions in operations. Without it, these agencies could face significant financial and operational challenges.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Audio/Visual Equipment, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Cyberliability, Employee Benefits, Public Officials' Liability, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Oowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Extra Expense, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and; Stop Gap Liability.