Pigtails Can Add a Lot in Value
By: Lucas Hartford
Of course we aren’t talking about a hairstyle – we are talking about insuring important electrical components at your campground or RV park.
It is rare that someone wants to pay the expense of insuring their electrical system or their individual pedestals due to a number of reasons, which will be an entire article on its own. However many parks and resorts choose to insure their main electrical boxes due to the concentration of exposure and risk at this important location. This is not only a typical way to insure this part of a campground’s property but most often it is a wise decision that can save you from being underinsured at the time of a loss.
In a typical park, there are one or more main electrical panels which may service some number of sites, buildings, and pumps. These panels may be free standing and insured as such or they may be attached to the building and included as part of the value of the building.
All too often when trying to place a value on these panels for insurance purposes, property owners will only consider the original cost of the panel and the labor to install and wire it. This method overlooks a very important component: the cost of pigtails.
Should there be a fire that destroys the panel there will not only be the cost for the replacement panel and labor to rewire it but possibly also a very expensive cost of adding proper pigtails to those feeds to the panel which have been destroyed. When a fire occurs, a wire’s sheath is often burned back 10’ or more away from the box, leaving the wires feeding the box unable to reach a common point (the new box) without a pig tail being added to each wire.
After a fire takes place and destroys the office with it’s main panel you can see in the new site map that not only is the building missing but because of the heat the sheathing on the wires was melted a ways back from the building so a portion of each of the wires was destroyed and it is now physically impossible to create a central location where all of the wires can connect without property splicing and extending them.
Each one of the wires now needs a pigtail added to it so that they can once again rejoin at a new common point (the new panel). The pigtails that need to be added will most likely all be outside and need weatherproof connections which will drive up the costs of replacement further.
So you can see that in this case when Evergreen Campground is looking to insure their office they need not only consider the cost of the building, the main panel and labor to rewire the main panel (amongst other things) but they also need to consider the cost of adding pig tails to the feeds. The cost for these pigtails will vary depending upon the gauge of wire, distance that needs replacement, what type of splice/junction needs to be made (or possibly replacement of the entire wire), and how many wires need replacing or pigtails added. It is not uncommon for all these pigtails to run in excess of $10,000 or in some large setups much more.
The best way to determine the cost to replace your main panel, rewire it, and add the necessary pigtails is by talking to a licensed electrician who can give you an idea of the cost, should there be a total fire loss. You then need to make certain that you have adequate coverage if it is a standalone panel or that you have thought to include this in the total value of your building(s) if you have it inside a building.
Electricity is one of the most important products that campers have come to expect today and as systems grow it is important that campgrounds and RV parks make sure they are properly covered by their insurance.
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