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Property insurance for public bodies

For the protection of public body or parish real estate and movable property

Towns, cities, municipalities and parishes and their subsidiaries own a considerable amount of real estate, churches and valuable movable property. The property is subject to a variety of risks ranging from burglary, water damage and fire to breakage of moveable property. If property is damaged, the financial costs may be high and even disrupt continuity of operations. Property insurance tailored for the needs of public bodies protect continuity of operations effectively.

The real estate and movable property of public bodies can be insured against sudden and unforeseeable losses with a comprehensive Property risk insurance for public bodies (known as all risks insurance).

The property of public bodies can also be insured less comprehensively against fire, burglary, leakage, storm, electric phenomenon and the breakage of machinery and equipment serving a building. Sacral buildings and movable property can insured against such losses with Church Insurance.

Public bodies' property insurance policies can be made to include both the buildings and movable property, insured either at full value or for an agreed sum insured.

"A dialogue on technical matters with the insurance company is important before making an invitation for a tender to ensure that all key aspects will be covered. This makes the insurance process much more fluent, because in the worst case the whole process may have to be repeated to obtain proper coverage."
Jan Kangasmäki‚ Insurance Manager, Pohjola Insurance

The building's cubic content (m³) is used as the sum insured. This is obtained, roughly speaking, by multiplying the height of the exterior walls by the entire building's gross area (m²).

The movable property may be included in the cubic content of the building, but if you only insure the movable property (if you are leasing a building), we will need the gross area in square metres where the movable property is kept. The gross area is the sum of all floor areas (on all floors), regardless of whether the rooms are heated or not.

When insuring movable property at full value, an upper limit must be set, and any pieces of machinery and equipment in excess of that limit must  be insured separately. A typical upper limit is EUR 20,000. For an additional fee, the limit can be placed higher.

A sum insured, in euros, will be needed for the following kinds of targets:

  • A target maintaining an industrial or public body infrastructure (industrial halls, water works, pumping stations, energy production plants)
  • Unrefurbished building built before 1950 (read more in the "Points to note in an invitation for a tender" section)
  • Targets that are historically valuable or protected by the National Board of Antiquities (read more in the "Points to note in an invitation for a tender" section)
A public body may insure its property less comprehensively by means of fire, burglary, leakage, storm or electric phenomenon cover. These all good alternatives when the target does not need or it cannot be granted an All Risks insurance.

Taking out just a fire insurance policy may be the best solution when you only need limited coverage. For example, the fire risks of a building that has been empty for a long time may be covered with a fire insurance policy. The policy covers damage caused by fire, soot, lightning, explosion and an extinguishing system going off.

A fire insurance may provide cover for both the building and the movable property in it. The property may be insured for its full value or for an agreed sum insured.

With regard to buildings that will be demolished, we will insure them only for their demolition value by means of a first loss fire insurance.

Sacral property is often irreplaceable owing to its antique or artistic value, placing special emphasis of preventing any losses. OP has decades of experience in cooperation with parishes on the prevention of church fires.

Churches including their movable property and other sacral property can be insured either with a Church Insurance or separate fire, burglary, storm and leakage covers. Church Insurance can also be added with a restoration supplement, meaning that any restoration following losses will be done using traditional materials and work methods.

Church Insurance is a first loss insurance, meaning that the amount of first loss must be specified for each target.

Other parish buildings and movable property (excl. sacral property)

Other than sacral buildings and sacral movable property can be insured for their full value with a public body's fire insurance or property risk insurance, or alternatively you can choose individual insurance coverage for them for certain losses (such as burglary).

Cover against gravestone or monument vandalism

Parishes may supplement their Church Insurance to include the expenses for re-erecting gravestones that have been knocked over. The maximum compensation  is EUR 200 per gravestone. The maximum compensation for soldiers' graves and monuments is EUR 2,000.

If operations must be continued with temporary arrangements because of a loss, your organisation may prepare for this by including an additional expense insurance into its property risk insurance. It covers additional expenses arising from continuing operations up to the sum insured during the period when the building that suffered damage is being repaired or rebuilt.

In order to obtain additional expense insurance, you must provide the annual limit for coverable losses and a limit per loss. The limit for compensation for a medium-sized public body per insurance period is generally about EUR 400,000, and EUR 200,000 per building.

The insurance includes additional cover in case the movable property has to be moved temporarily. It provides cover to movable property when the latter must be moved outside the place of insurance, but within Finland, for the purposes of repair or maintenance.

The sum insured for such instances is EUR 20,000, but can raise this against an additional premium.

The following should be borne in mind in particular when preparing an invitation for a tender. You can email it by using the link on the right-hand side of the page.

Historically valuable targets and those protected by the National Board of Antiquities

The list of targets must indicate clearly the targets that are protected. To insure such targets, the sum insured in terms of first loss insurance must be specified and whether the sum insured includes restoration value.

Old buildings

Buildings built before 1950 in which a complete HVAC overhaul has not been carried out can only be insured with fire, burglary and storm cover at a sum insured for first loss. The compensation principles of underinsurance are not applied to property covered with first loss insurance. This is why it is well suited for property whose value is difficult to determine. Old targets and especially those that may require restoration are often targets for which first loss insurance is applied.

Empty buildings

We compensate leaks in supply water pipes in buildings that have been empty for a lengthier period only if the main cut-off valve has been turned off. This should be mentioned clearly in the list of targets in the invitation for a tender.

Buildings to be demolished

Read more in the "When to get just fire insurance?" section.

Description in the list of targets

When  insuring a target, it is important to describe what the building is used for. For example, "industrial hall" does not say much, but if we have the address and the name and field of operation of the company operating in it, we have a much better idea of what kind of risks involved.

Year of construction and any renovations are also important. Indicating the year when heating, sewer and supply water pipes and electrical cabling was renovated can reduce insurance premiums considerably.

Claims history

Pohjola Insurance requires that the claims history going back at least five years must be attached to the invitation of a tender.

The claims history must specify:

  • claims per year
  • losses (in euro terms) and in number (pcs.)
  • type of property losses  (at least fires and leakages) and
  • amount of deductible subtracted from the loss.


It is worth noting that even in cases of a new company being established, we still need to know the losses relevant to the target.

The insurer is either Pohjola Insurance or A-Insurance Ltd. The losses will be covered in accordance with the law and the insurance terms and conditions.