BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Login Register Subscribe

Metal theft from abandoned buildings creates costly problems

Metal theft from abandoned buildings creates costly problems

When a building is boarded up to protect against intrusion, it ironically alerts criminals that a potential treasure trove—copper, aluminum and precious metals—may be there for the taking.

Although copper prices have fallen from their $4.6-per-pound peak a year ago, at roughly $3.80 per pound the metal remains valuable.

Once a thief breaks into a building, it opens the door to other risks, such as water damage, mold and vandalism.

“We've seen situations where the building owner has left the heat on and the water running so the pipes won't freeze, and when the copper piping is stolen it results in significant damage,” said Jay Little, vp of commercial insurance at Kansas City, Mo.-based broker Lockton Cos. L.L.C.

To limit prospects for thieves and extract some value from a soon-to-be-vacant structure, Frank Westfall, vp of Philadelphia-based ESIS Inc., the environmental, health and safety unit of ACE Ltd., recommends the removal of copper, aluminum and precious metals from the building, if the company indeed has no plans to restore it to use.

Read Next