Emergency Service Providers – Insuring Portable Equipment

Insurance for Portable Equipment

It’s important for fire agencies to be able to identify what items in their department are considered portable equipment as these items should be covered under an Inland Marine policy. Portable Equipment for a fire department often consists of items that are necessary to not only protect themselves during fire and emergencies, but to protect and serve their community.

It’s not a building, it’s not a vehicle, what is it?

The simplest way to decide and account for inventory that is not part of your actual station, vehicles or apparatus’ is to imagine you pick your station up, turn it upside down and shake it; whatever falls out would then need to be categorized either as Business Personal Property or Portable Equipment.

Traditional insurance coverage for Business Personal Property is limited to a specific location or a designated perimeter around a specific location.  Classifying all equipment as business personal property causes a gap in coverage as soon as the items leave a designated location.

How to define portable equipment

Out of those two categories you will need to recognize what items are considered portable equipment. These items can be easily identified by doing an inventory of equipment that leaves the station, goes out on calls with crews and moves around.  Examples include radio equipment, SCBA masks, SCBA air bottles, fire hoses, PPE, air compressors, defibrillators, or EMS kits. Don’t forget to inventory items that are typically kept on or in vehicles and apparatus’ but are not permanently affixed to them.

Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in theft, even more so theft in life saving equipment by either fire station break-in’s or stealing these items off apparatus’ while crews are out on calls. Being able to accurately distinguish and inventory the replacement cost of your Portable Equipment is important to ensure your agency is appropriately compensated to quickly replace lifesaving equipment.


If you haven’t taken inventory of your Portable Equipment in the past year and compared it to your insurance coverage limits that is a task that is well worth your time.

Why Guide Insurance Services?

At Guide Insurance we partner with and serve fire agencies by creating a personalized experience and matching your coverage needs with one of several programs available in our agency.  Assisting the emergency services industry is personal to us. Many of our team members have family members who are first responders. We know first-hand the dedication this line of work requires.  We are here to serve you, partner with you and assist you to better understand the coverages that protect your agency.

Interested in working with Guide? Click here to learn more about our team.

  • Kristen Oudman

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