Prevent boiler catastrophe with periodic inspections


Like a circulatory system, a boiler requires regular inspection by an expert.

A boiler is to a building as your heart is to your body: The wrong thing happens, and any other concern that may be troubling you becomes moot. Like your heart, a boiler is subject to deterioration that may not be apparent until it is too late. The only way to become aware of declining conditions and avoid catastrophic loss is through examination by a qualified person.

Throughout history both physicals and boiler inspections have saved lives…maybe even your own.

What does this have to do with insurance? If machinery and equipment coverage is included in your business insurance policy, inspection services may be available through your insurer at no charge to you.


Most cities and states in the U.S. have laws governing the safe operation, periodic inspection and certification of boilers and pressure vessels in public and private buildings that are not privately owned, single-family residences. These laws help protect the public from loss or injury due to boiler or pressure vessel failure. The governing body keeps inspection results and issues certificates for operation.

Insurers offering machinery and equipment coverage employ individuals qualified to complete and report inspections required by most every jurisdiction ̶ usually at no cost to the owner or operator of the insured boiler or pressure vessel. While the jurisdiction or third-party companies may offer such inspections, typically they charge the equipment owner.


If your boiler or pressure vessel falls under the safety laws for your state, county or city, contact your independent insurance agent and ask to be put in contact with your insurer’s inspector for your area.

If you do not have machinery and equipment coverage, ask for a quote. Alternatively, contact your state, county or city and determine what is necessary to have your boiler or pressure vessel inspected and certificated by them.

Just as regular checkups can detect heart disease early, regular inspections can prevent a catastrophic failure of your boiler or pressure vessel. Don’t wait until it’s too late!


NOTE: While this article pertains to laws covering boilers in public places and multi-family residential dwellings, the same perils are present in boilers, water heaters or pressure vessels installed in a home. While they may not be covered by inspection laws, they are still subject to potentially catastrophic failure. Only periodic inspection and testing by qualified service firms or persons can help to circumvent equipment failure.


Example of a pressure relief valve working, preventing an explosion:

More than 30 apartments evacuated in Riverside

Article from the National Board of Boiler and Pressure Vessel Inspectors:

A Boiler: The Explosive Potential of a Bomb

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4 Responses to “Prevent boiler catastrophe with periodic inspections”

  1. Jordan

    Important points here. Getting regular inspections is crucial to making sure everything is working optimally. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Christina Grover

    I think you are right when you say that it is important to get your home boiler inspected as well. My grandma has smaller boiler in her older home. I know she constantly gets it checked to make sure it doesn’t have any problems. Since she doesn’t use it as much as a commercial building, how often should she get it inspected?

    • Cincinnati Insurance

      Thanks for your comment, Christina. Yes, good practice would be an annual inspection prior to each heating season. Jurisdictions require annual or semi-annual certificate inspection of heating boilers installed in public places. When considering the safety of your own family, play it safe and have the boiler inspected by a competent service provider every year.

  3. Zequek Estrada

    Comparing a boiler to the human heart is genius. Everyone can relate to that. Things like this usually confuse me but this analogy makes it easier to understand the importance of periodic inspections.

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