Insurance on heating system? ? ?

Our very old six-unit coop building uses an oil-fired boiler furnace. The last one we had lasted for only eight years.
Is it possible to get insurance on boilers? If so, where?
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What you want is a warranty program or service plan, not insurance. Every warranty program that I've seen for something like this has not been a good deal. Why are you so concerned about a boiler for a six unit coop? Usually boilers last a lot longer than 8 years. If it goes, you split the cost 6 ways and it shouldn't be such an extraordinary expense. It will be a lot less than paying for some warranty program that MIGHT cover whatever goes wrong. Most of them try to wiggle out with various loopholes. I'd get yearly maintenance and fuggeda bout it!
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Thanks. Our coop building has a history of contention among the six shareholders.
The boiler which went bad was installed in about 1998, before my time here. It was a job done on the cheap and probably was the wrong boiler and incorrectly installed from the outset.
It was a close vote to spend a little more money and get a better boiler from a reliable contractor. But already within the first two years we are saving from $3,000 to $5,000 a year on oil costs. In other words, the new boiler will pay for itself in four or five years.
And, I hope, it will last for 20 to 30 years. But with the other one going bad in just 8 years, some of the residents are uneasy about lack of protection.
I tend to agree with your assessment that we'd be better to determine how much a service plan or warranty program, and then put that amount into a reserve fund to replace the boiler whenever it needs replacing.
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What you want is a warranty program or service plan, not insurance. Every warranty program that I've seen for something like this has not been a good deal. Why are you so concerned about a boiler for a six unit coop? Usually boilers last a lot longer than 8 years. If it goes, you split the cost 6 ways and it shouldn't be such an extraordinary expense. It will be a lot less than paying for some warranty program that MIGHT cover whatever goes wrong. Most of them try to wiggle out with various loopholes. I'd get yearly maintenance and fuggeda bout it!
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Check with your utlity company. Mine (Columbia Gas) is constantly sending me promo info on warranties for everything from the furnace to the toilet plunger. Generally these aren't a good investmetn unless they are for a really old unit, and even then you have to read the really small print to be sure they don't prorate the coverage based on the age of the unit. Also be careful since these often only cover single-family dwellings and they may see your installation as more of a commercial matter.
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I agree. I'm not sure if they would have a plan for a 6-unit co-op heater, but if they do you should think about signing up. The utility company where I am (PSE&G) has a service plan and I have it on 3 different houses that have other families living in them. PSE&G has day shift and evening shift crews on at least 5 days a week and at least a day shift on weekends. When something goes wrong, all I do is call them and they come out later that day. Plus, they really do know what they are doing and they aren't motivated to try to sell you something you do not need. If you have 6 people who can't agree on things, having a plan in place means if the heater breaks there is no question about who to get to fix it, how much it will cost, when they will be able to get there to fix it, etc.
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Yes, but probably not what you need.
You may want insurance to insure against catastrophic failure and the damage it can cause. Hartford Steam is one of the biggest in that areas. Travelers does boiler insurance also. They require it be opened and inspected every year.
What you really need is proper operation. First of all, you have to find out what you have. You either have a furnace or a boiler. You mention both in your post, but they are different things. Furnaces heat air, boilers heat water. In a six unit place, changes are you have water or steam heat and a boiler.
Who is in charge of operating it? There must be a trained and knowledgeable person that has responsibility for operation. You should know the condition of the water you are using in it, how often it should be cleaned and know the signs of when it needs cleaning on the fire side. Proper maintenance can triple or quadruple the life of the boiler. You may want to consider water treatment too. How often is the boiler checked? Is a log kept? Anyone monitor things like stack temperature? That will tell you when it is getting sootted up and need cleaning.
What was the cause of failure in the old unit? What type, brand, size, do you have now?
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Thanks for your detailed answer -- that tells me everything I need to know.

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You're welcome. If someone asks you where you got your information, I have an Engineer's License for high pressure steam boilers in the State of Massachusetts. I have to be sure that anyone operating the boilers in my charge follow certain regulations and keep logs. Low pressure boilers (less than 15 psi) do not have those requirements but are good practice on a large installation.
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