The very mention of insurance will bring to your mind following types of coverages :
- Life insurance
- Accident insurance
- Home insurance
- Medical insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance
- Travel insurance
Have you ever felt necessity for an insurance cover for your laboratory. The laboratory is a place stacked with a variety of chemicals and toxic substances in addition to equipments which can pose both electrical and mechanical hazards.
Why is it Essential to Insure
Laboratory accidents can result in:
- Temporary loss of business activity
- Third-party damage or injury
- Damage to environment and neighbourhood caused by uncontrolled discharge of hazardous and toxic vapours and chemicals
A comprehensive insurance policy is highly recommended but in any case you should consider individual policies covering at least the following risk categories:
Solvents, chemicals and flammable gases constitute a potential fire risk. Additionally short circuits in AC or heavy machinery circuits pose fire risks .Fires can spread throughout the lab in a matter of minutes and leave you almost bankrupt. Fire insurance can reimburse the loss incurred by you.
Expensive instruments and chemicals cost a fortune. Experience tells us that all premises can be burgled into and yours can be no exception. But really insurance safeguards against such losses and reimburses the loss if the burglar makes away with stocks and cash, valuables and securities even if these have been kept under lock and key in your premises.
Machinery Breakdown (MBT) Insurance
Machinery, major or minor, is the lifeline of any lab. When it breaks down the operations come to a grinding halt and so does your cash flow. This policy ensures that you are reimbursed the loss accuring to you from such breakdowns.
Electronic Equipment Insurance (EEI)
Modern laboratories are equipped with sophisticated instruments and high cost instruments such as HPLC’s, GC’s, LC – MS, G – MS, AAS, ICP – MS, ICP – OES, HPTLC, etc. Besides such instruments there is also a network of IT terminals used for integrating laboratory activities and networking with clients. When electronic equipment stalls operations come to a standstill leading to pecuniary losses. This policy helps to hedge against this risk. You can hire another piece until the stalled piece gets repaired. The hiring is reimbursed by the insurer
Cash represents the lifeline of every business. Often employees have to carry cash while on duty/in transit which may be knocked off. Cash received during the course of business kept locked up in a safe on the premises may be knocked off too. Money insurance protects the lab from such risks.
Laboratory requires a fleet of commercial vehicles used for transportation of employees as well as client samples. Law mandates that all vehicles plying in public places be insured at least to take care of third-party liability. The policy is available in two formats – liability only policy and package policy. The liability policy takes care of the liability arising from the damage to life and property of third parties. The package policy is comprehensive It additionally compensates the lab for the loss of or damage to the vehicle itself arising from such events as accidents, thefts and other pre-defined events.
This insurance is generally provided by the supplier It insures the consignment against rejection or transit damages. As a purchaser you should ensure that the consignment is insured against all damages from manufacturer premises right up to your laboratory premises.. Such insurance is strongly recommended for import of costly laboratory equipments
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Also called errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, it covers the lab or any individual on its behalf. The policy comes in handy when a client holds the lab for individual responsible for a service provided, or not provided, leading to inconsistent results. The policy indemnifies the lab rf the individual against the loss incurred by the client, material or financial or physical and directly attributed to negligence on the part of the lab/individual
Product Liability Insurance
Labs will do well to buy this insurance product since they are associated with manufacturers of foods,building materials, pharmaceuticals, clothing, toys,etc – items that could harm the consumer. A laboratory certifies the specications of such products and makes it also liable for causing injury or damage due to use of such products
Seriously if you’re looking for peace of mind then investing a small amount of premium against the covered risks is strongly advised. In subsequent articles the various risk categories will be elaborated upon and you shall be provided with some useful references to insurance companies which offer such laboratory insurance products.
Please feel free to offer your suggestions and opinions on this article.