How Fires in 2014 Will Affect You In 2015

How Fires in 2014 Will Affect You In 2015

October 3, 2014

The 2014 business year has not been kind to the woodworking industry as many sawmills and manufacturing facilities have had to deal with crippling fires. The ripple from events like these are being felt throughout our industry in the form of property insurance rate increases. Because of so many large losses, fewer and fewer insurance companies are willing or able to offer property insurance to what they are considering "high-risk" businesses. As things like this continue to happen, all woodworking companies will ultimately help pay for these losses via increased premiums, regardless of their clean records.

Some companies are receiving quotes up to 400% more than what they have paid in the past. This is putting a lot of undue pressure on company leaders that are dependant on the financial backing of banks who expect full insurance coverage to maintain financing. What can a company do to remain ensure they remain in good graces with insurance companies and they type of business that they wish to offer coverage to year after year?


Walk around your facility, has it been vacuumed on a regular basis (you are not allowed to blow dust anymore). Are all hazardous materials properly stored? Has the physical building been properly maintained?  Are there any things that you or your safety committee recognize as potential sources of loses?  Owners should put themselves in the place of a company coming in to determine if you would insure your business. Often it is helpful to have an impartial outsider walk through your facility and do a thorough inspection. It will be interesting to see what they find. Don't wait until the week before your insurance renews to find out that you are no longer a desired customer.


The WPMA manages a business insurance program through our partners Pennsylvania Lumbermens Mutual Insurance and Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Company. The only industry that they have insured for over 100 years is the woodworking industry. Our association strives to offer programs and services that help businesses remain competitive in today's global marketplace. Readers with questions may contact Philip Bibeau at WPMA 978-874-5445 for more information.