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Are fuel stations a hazardous risk?



There is a perception that Fuel stations are regarded as a very dangerous risk, however if the right risk management questions are asked and answered upfront then the exposure to risk can be mitigated, underwritten and insured correctly.

All fuel stations are strictly regulated and have to comply to the fire regulations in order to safeguard the numerous customers and employees that visit the premises daily. The average fuel station fills everything from petrol tanks to coffee cups and generally offers a number of additional extras including convenience foods, banking on the go, and valet services. These alternative revenue streams are a lucrative means of attracting many visitors, however they also introduce a multitude of potential risks and liabilities for the fuel station owner.

In addition to the added liability exposure if something should happen to people or visitors at the premises, the following risks also need to be evaluated to ensuring that a fuel station is insured correctly; fire, theft, and money protection.

Walking around the premises of a fuel station you will notice that there are numerous  fire extinguishers, fire hose reels and fire hydrants in place. Should the station also sell gas bottles these will also be in a locked cage away from the fuel pumps and the main building. The fuel pumps should have a safeguard protecting them against impact damage from vehicles. 

With convenience stores being located on these premises, the hold-up risk has increased as most fuel stations operate 24 hours a day. Drop safes would be used at these risks with signs showing that the staff don’t have keys to the safe. Staff work behind fixed bulletproof glass for added protection. Panic buttons linked to armed response. are often available to the staff as a risk prevention measure as well.

Linked alarms are fitted to the risks that close overnight with sensors protecting all the relevant entrances and exits where entry can be gained.

The majority of fuel station products available in the industry have an added extension to the normal cover available for the incorrect dispensing of fuel due to human error. This occurs when a petrol attendant puts the wrong fuel into a vehicle. The normal General and Tenants liability available for these risks will also need to be in place in case of any negligence by the insured or his staff that may result in damage and injury to third parties or third party goods.  

Considering the above, a fuel station can be underwritten and insured correctly provided that the correct risk management principles are followed. While our fuel stations keep the nation moving, we need to make sure the adequate insurance cover is provided.