Infrared inspection is integral to the loss control evaluation service that Chubb Insurance provides its commercial customers. The company employs in the region of seventy certified thermographers worldwide who it assigns to check the health of customers’ electrical and mechanical assets to minimise fire risk and costly downtime and ensure personnel safety.
Since the UK inception of this service in 1997 Chubb has maintained a database of every hotspot detected. Against each of these surveys it attributes a cost of potential property loss and business interruption should the defect have been allowed to develop. And the company estimates that averted losses to date are in excess of £3.5m and rising.
In the UK Chubb maintains it own arsenal of thermal imaging cameras and recently added two Flir P-Series top-of-the-range infrared models to its inventory. These were chosen to complement existing FLIR models which, despite being more than ten years old, are still working well.
The cameras allow IR services to be provided across all industry sectors from municipal, medical and leisure establishments through to commercial enterprises, factories, warehouses and utility sites.
Predominantly the role of the cameras is in the condition monitoring of capital equipment and associated electrical systems but they are also increasingly being used to check the integrity of insulation to contain overheads.
This technology has a vital role to play in the business and commercial sector. It is estimated that up to 30% of all industry fires can be attributed to an electrical fault. The thermal imaging cameras allow Chubb to spot the vital signs of a developing fault without the need to interrupt the production or business process. Neil MacLeod, Risk Engineer and Level 2 certified thermographer, explained “As well as preventing catastrophic failure it also allows us to help the customer minimise downtime and use maintenance resources more effectively.”
The fact that there is no disruption to business whilst the survey is being carried out and the little time it takes to scan a complete facility never fails to impress. “Almost without exception, every one of our IR customers has commented on the capability of the non-invasive camera and the visual impact of thermography,” Neil MacLeod added. “The report wizard ensures that a summary of the survey can normally be issued within 24 hours and the IR images embedded in that report really tell the story.”
With such an impressive track-record thermography is also an important element in an insurance product that Chubb recently launched. As its name implies, MasterPackage MetalPro is aimed at metalworking companies. Globally, Chubb has a long history of providing cover for metal industries and understands the particular risks inherent to the sector.
MetalPro not only provides one of the broadest coverages in the sector but also offers risk reduction services, such as thermography, to help prevent the worst from happening. Customers can also enrol in two bespoke health and safety courses.
“There is no doubt that thermography is an important business differentiator for Chubb,” Neil MacLeod concluded, “It demonstrates to our customers and brokers that we are committed to adding value to the award winning service we provide.”