Equipment Breakdown Insurance (Boiler and Machinery Insurance)

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Equipment Breakdown Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s modernized business landscape, reliance on machinery and technology is inevitable. But what happens when there’s a sudden equipment malfunction? Equipment Breakdown Insurance (EBI), sometimes referred to as “boiler and machinery” insurance, steps in as the savior.

Nature and Importance of EBI

At its core, Equipment Breakdown Insurance offers protection against the sudden and accidental breakdown of machinery and equipment integral to a business’s operation. This includes electrical systems, air conditioning, refrigeration units, boilers, and other machines. Its significance stems from the hefty repair or replacement costs these breakdowns can incur, potentially derailing business operations.

EBI Coverage Details

  1. Direct Property Loss: The cost to repair or replace the broken equipment, sometimes even if it’s aged, and includes coverage for both parts and labor.
  2. Business Interruption: If a covered breakdown halts business operations, EBI can cover lost income, payroll for employees, and other associated costs.
  3. Spoilage: For businesses dealing with perishables, coverage can be extended to include losses from spoilage due to equipment failure.
  4. Extra Expenses: Costs incurred to hasten the repair or replacement process or to temporarily mitigate the effects of the breakdown.


It’s pivotal to note that EBI doesn’t cover losses due to wear and tear, corrosion, rust, or gradual deterioration. Damage from natural disasters or losses that are intentional are also typically excluded.

Difference from Property Insurance

While there’s a common misconception that standard property insurance will cover equipment breakdown, the reality is different. Property insurance primarily covers external threats like fires, storms, and vandalism, while EBI specifically focuses on internal malfunctions.

Determining the Need for EBI

Businesses, both big and small, that rely heavily on machinery—like restaurants, manufacturing units, data centers, and more—should seriously consider EBI. A sudden equipment breakdown can lead to unexpected downtime, loss of income, and disgruntled customers, emphasizing the need for specialized coverage.

Choosing the Right Policy

Before diving into an EBI policy, assess the value and importance of the equipment to your business operations. Seek multiple quotes and carefully review coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions. Partnering with an experienced insurance agent can streamline the process and ensure you get the optimal protection for your needs. In conclusion, Equipment Breakdown Insurance is a pivotal shield for modern businesses. It guarantees that in the face of sudden malfunctions, businesses won’t be caught off guard, allowing them to bounce back with minimal hiccups.


Equipment Breakdown Insurance, also known as Boiler and Machinery Insurance, covers the cost of repairing or replacing machinery and equipment that has broken down or malfunctioned due to internal forces such as power surges, electrical breakdowns, mechanical failures, or motor burnouts.

The policy typically covers a wide range of mechanical, electrical, and computer equipment. This includes but is not limited to HVAC systems, refrigeration units, boilers, photocopiers, computers, and elevators.

No, Equipment Breakdown Insurance generally does not cover the costs associated with normal wear and tear, deterioration, or corrosion. The coverage is meant for sudden and accidental breakdowns.

In addition to covering the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged equipment, the policy can also cover other related expenses such as the cost of renting temporary equipment, business income loss, and additional expenses incurred to expedite repairs.

While Property Insurance covers damage to a business’s physical assets due to external events like fire, storms, or vandalism, Equipment Breakdown Insurance covers damage to equipment due to internal mechanical or electrical failure.

No, Equipment Breakdown Insurance is not required by law. However, it can be a wise investment for businesses that rely heavily on machinery and equipment to operate.

The cost of Equipment Breakdown Insurance depends on various factors including the type and value of the equipment, the industry of the business, and the coverage limits selected. Businesses should work with their insurance agent to determine an appropriate level of coverage.

Equipment Breakdown Insurance can be purchased through an insurance agent or broker who specializes in commercial insurance. It can be bought as a standalone policy or as an endorsement to a business owner’s policy.

In the event of equipment breakdown, you should immediately contact your insurance provider to report the incident. You will need to provide documentation of the breakdown and the costs associated with the repair or replacement of the equipment. The insurance company will then assess the claim and determine the coverage amount.

Yes, like all insurance policies, Equipment Breakdown Insurance has exclusions and limitations. Common exclusions include damage due to external events (such as fire or flood), damage due to operator error, and breakdowns due to lack of maintenance. It’s important to read the policy carefully and discuss any questions or concerns with your insurance agent.

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