Every state has laws regarding the care and maintenance of certain mechanical pieces of equipment that potentially pose a greater risk to residents/occupants/guests in a sorority chapter house. This exposure is often referred to as boiler and pressurized vessels. We generally think of the steam operated boilers that heat a house; however, even hot water heaters in some states are also included.
Generally speaking, these laws require: (1) an operating permit to be obtained from the State Department or jurisdiction prior to operating a regulated boiler or pressure vessel; (2) all operating permit inspections to be performed by a boiler or pressure vessel inspector licensed by the Department; and (3) the Department to perform operating permit inspections on all regulated boiler or pressure vessels owned by the state.
Your insurance coverage for boilers and pressurized vessels is part of your property insurance coverage. In addition to paying for a claim should one of these items explode, the coverage also provides extensive safety engineering and inspection services which will ultimately minimize the potential for a loss.
As the law prescribes, inspections must be performed on a regular basis as determined by the state law. These could be anywhere from a quarterly to an annual inspection. As part of your insurance premium, these inspections are done by your property insurer Travelers Insurance Company, and they are free of charge.
The jurisdiction however should they be asked to inspect by the building owner would have a fee attached to that service, thus why we encourage our clients to rely exclusively upon your insurance company to fulfill this role.
There are basically two separate transactions with this exposure:
- Safety inspection-offered free of charge by the insurance company
- Issuance of the certification that is placed on the item that has a small fee assessed for the certificate by the jurisdiction, which the property owner will be responsible for paying as this is not included in the insurance coverage
The process is as follows:
- 30-45 days prior to the expiration date of the boiler or other item, Travelers secures from MJ the contact information for the house corporation and the property is inspected by a Travelers Risk Control representative. This contact person will also be receiving the invoice from the state for the issuance of the certificate. They will also be the individual receiving the certificate back from the state.
- During the inspection, they will be commenting on anything related to equipment-electrical exposures, panel concerns, etc.
- The report of the inspection is sent to the house corporation with any violations or items noted that will need to be addressed by the property owner.
- Upon addressing the violations or items, Travelers then sends the status to the jurisdiction.
- The jurisdiction will send an invoice to the property owner and once the invoice is paid, the certification will be provided.
- The certificate then needs to be prominently posted to provide to a fire marshal or someone from the jurisdiction requesting proof of the inspection.
- Should there be a mix up with Travelers missing the inspection and the state must do the inspection and then charge you, let us know as we will work with Travelers to pay that costs.