Insuring Operations On The Island

Dec. 21, 2004

While Puerto Rico's tropical location sounds wonderful to cold climate-based executives, it also means that structures on the island need to be able to withstand windstorms and hurricanes. Managers need to line up backup plant equipment and power sources in the event power goes out, says Frank Goudsmit, life sciences property and international manager with Chubb Commercial Insurance Division, Whitehouse Stations, N.J. If that's not possible, managers will want to make sure they can quickly transfer operations to other locations. If that would require shifting operations to a contract manufacturer, company executives will want to make sure the plant already has been validated by the Federal Drug Administration. Otherwise, the company is liable to lose sales--in some cases, permanently -- to competitors that are able to keep their operations up and running. Finally, many life sciences companies need to warehouse quantities of packaging materials, powders and the like. That can create a fire hazard, says Goudsmit. A reliable sprinkler system is critical, which may mean investing in a private system, he adds. "You may not be able to get sufficient water flow from a public system."

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