Did you know your chances of having your heavy equipment stolen are twice as high as having it damaged by natural disaster and five times higher than having it damaged in an auto accident? According to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s 2014 Equipment Theft Report, the cost of equipment theft to U.S. companies is estimated to be anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion every year, maybe more. The problem is so widespread, there’s no single, complete database of all losses.
The construction industry is especially vulnerable to theft and vandalism with the mobility of workers and equipment, the temporary nature of projects, and high worker turnover (especially among seasonal employees). Remote jobsites can be a serious challenge to protect. And for companies that are targeted, costs can add up fast. On top of the stolen equipment, there are the attempted recovery efforts, lost revenue from project delays, financial penalties, and other costs – and these losses can mean higher claim frequency, a negative loss experience, and higher insurance premiums.
Technology: An Effective Construction Risk Management Tool
It used to be that a good fence, a human presence, or a guard dog were about the only available deterrents against theft and vandalism on jobsites, and that’s still the case on some construction sites today. But the only real way to thwart theft and vandalism is to catch the perpetrators in the act. To do that, you need surveillance cameras.
The problem is, security cameras have traditionally been too expensive for most construction companies and impractical for many, especially at remote job sites where they may be no power or Internet access. But technology has changed the game in recent years, slashing the cost of construction site cameras while exploding the capabilities:
- Solar power eliminates the need for on-site power and allows cameras to be installed in the best location
- Sophisticated features such as advanced motion activation and infrared night vision technology
- DIY installation. Newer generation cameras are much easier for end users to install and manage
- Wireless. Cellular and Wi-Fi cameras eliminate the need for wiring, cutting installation costs
- Portability. Modern technology has created smaller cameras and solar power systems
- Cloud connected. Modern cameras can be connected to a cloud service to provide automated and secure data archiving
- Multi-functional. Time-lapse image collection, automatic time-lapse videos, and real-time video streaming are just some of the possibilities
- Smartphone/tablet integration allows company representatives real-time access to cameras and data
- Low cost. Many of the newest generations of cameras are a fraction of the cost of traditional systems
In the fight against costly theft and vandalism, today’s wireless, solar-powered surveillance cameras offer a flexible and affordable solution, especially in places where it would otherwise be too costly and impractical for traditional security and surveillance measures.
And keep in mind, the benefits of using surveillance cameras go beyond safety and security:
- Customer relations. Cameras can help you maintain transparency about project information, demonstrate accountability to owners, pre-market your projects to future clients, keep stakeholders engaged in projects, and provide crucial data during dispute resolution efforts.
- Project management. Cameras and software allow you to share images and video in support of project communication efforts; reduce travel time while enabling more frequent site viewing; boost efficiency by identifying problems sooner; manage schedules, materials, and vendors more effectively; and improve quality control.
Don’t forget financial protection
Equipment theft is an unfortunate and costly reality in the construction business, so you need to be prepared with robust construction insurance protection. To learn more about protecting your construction equipment, talk to the New York construction insurance experts at BNC Agency.