Be Proactive Protect Your Heavy Equipment - Capstone Brokerage

Protect your Heavy Equipment Constuction insurance nevada

By: Kathleen Murray, Capstone Brokerage Client Advocate, April 25, 2016

Have you had a piece of construction equipment stolen? Have you had compressors, generators and other mobile equipment stolen that are left on a secure construction site or an unattended job site location?

To understand heavy equipment theft prevention, the first thing to know is how thieves prefer to steal vehicles and equipment. Over 95% of stolen vehicles are driven away, no matter how large, such as an Excavator, Dozer or Grader. Thieves are targeting large machines and often will hit a location several times. Thieves will target specific machines, possibly filling an order for specific makes, models and even machines equipped with specific implements or attachments. Security cameras have revealed the perpetrators often can be seen driving through the facility days before the incident, and individuals are seen examining equipment throughout the job site, but avoiding contact with the construction crew or operating undetected as part of the crew at the job site or business location.

What can be done to prevent Heavy Equipment Theft?

Detective Thomas Riesselman, LVMPD Construction Theft Division, offers the CIN (Construction Identification Number Program) as a first step in having a Pro Active Plan in place. Acknowledging that heavy equipment and construction vehicles are a high exposure is the essence of implementing a safety plan. Las Vegas Metro Police Department Construction Theft Division will provide free on site assessment and recommendations to stop equipment theft before it happens. A CIN ID# is issued on each piece of equipment making it more efficient for the police to begin tracking the equipment. The program in Las Vegas has shown great success, enabling the Construction Defect Unit to find stolen equipment, the perpetrators and theft rings during their investigations.

During the Construction Crime Theft seminar at Capstone Brokerage, Inc. on 3/16/2016, Detective Thomas Riesselman also stressed the importance of registration in the National Equipment Register (NER) Program, as part of a proactive crime theft procedure. NER’s database was established in 2001 and has been instrumental along with the CIN program in Las Vegas in finding and prosecuting thieves. NER offers an online Theft Prevention Guide which can be obtained from NER during registration. NER’s contact number is: 212-297-1805. A phone call to register is preferable.

What can this do for you to protect theft of your construction equipment, you ask? It is critical for a positive outcome when a theft occurs to implement corrective actions and have an “In House” security program which contains steps for reporting to police and the insurance carrier. The timeliness of reporting is major in tracking down and finding the equipment. Insurance carriers work with Law Enforcement to recapture the financial loss when equipment is found which expedites the subrogation process for the insured.

Developing a Security Program:

In addition to registering with Las Vegas Metro Construction Theft Division and the NER, implementing a security program is just as important as a good safety program. It is becoming a common procedure for Insurance carriers to request security programs when insuring Inland Marine and Business Property Insurance. Knowing that the CIN program and NER registration is in place when submitting a theft claim is invaluable to the carrier to expedite subrogation on the insured’s behalf. And since the claim is a crime claim, the insurance carrier will work with law enforcement.

Be sure a Security Program addresses the following key areas:

  • Site security, including assessments
  • Equipment Security, including on-site, storage/yard security, and in transit security
  • Equipment Inventory – The goal is to eliminate the tedious problem of sorting out what is missing when a theft occurs. Maintain up to date records of equipment and construction vehicles, including year, make, model #’s, and the assigned job site; Define who is responsible for maintaining the information.
  • Define the company procedures for who makes the reports and will be the contact when the report is submitted to LV Metro and the insurance carrier. Make sure this information is easily available for the person who will be responsible for reporting the information.
  • A good security policy clearly defines employees who are responsible for maintaining security of the facilities, tools, equipment and critical data information. It must also define accountability for breaching security regulations, and establish where discipline, termination and consequently, prosecution may be necessary.
  • Communication and getting involved is a critical element to any pro-active prevention effort. Registering in programs that enable law enforcement also enables your insurance carrier to empower you, and create a win-win situation against criminal activity in the community. A picture is always worth a thousand words: Below is an NER graph of the Types of Equipment Stolen, nationwide, during 2014.

    Types of Equipment Stolen