This edition of Ask the Experts covers a combination of two very important subjects: insurance and inspections. We asked Tim Yates, specialty claims adjuster at Safehold Special Risk, to weigh in.
“What kind of inspection paperwork do I need to keep on-hand for insurance, and how long do I need to hold it?”
Unfortunately, there is no “one size fits all” answer to these questions. The type of inspection paperwork required will depend on what government agency—if any—regulates the attraction, what code applies, and what inspections the manufacturer or installer requires. Here, we’re thinking of things like zip lines, ropes courses, bungee trampolines, and climbing walls. The regulating body, the applicable code, and the manufacturer or installer determine what sort of inspections must be done and how often.
That said, your business should create a document retention policy. This will be the roadmap you create to determine how long to retain which documents. Most people seem to think seven years is the magic number because it is the standard timeframe for retaining IRS-type documents. Seven years may not have anything to do with the types of documents you are storing. Consulting an attorney might be a good idea for this.
Factors to consider include: How long is the statute of limitations in your state? Does the state or manufacturer have any requirements?
Your insurer will want the required inspections done regularly and without exception. If they are completed as required and that documentation is readily available in the event of a claim or lawsuit, your insurer will be in the best possible position to defend you.
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