Insurance Will Play Key Role Following Back Bay Fire and Power Outage


NStar estimates that approximately 13,000 Back Bay residents and businesses are still without power this morning following a transformer explosion that occurred Tuesday night. The 115,000 volt NStar transformer sparked a fire that sent thick, black smoke billowing over the city.

The fire started in the five-story NStar building next to the Hilton hotel at 40 Dalton St. around 6:30 p.m. Within minutes, heavy smoke filled the area over Boylston Street. Four hundred people had to be evacuated from the Hilton hotel.

The massive power outage that ensued caused headaches for residents and city officials alike. Hundreds of Boston police officers were deployed to help deal with traffic congestion and dangerous intersections operating without traffic lights and to make sure no looting occurs in businesses without power.

Much of that area of the city is still in darkness this morning, with generators providing limited lighting in some buildings. According to reports, the Prudential and Symphony MBTA lines also remain closed this morning due to lack of lighting.


Only one person has been reported hospitalized due to smoke inhalation, but the effects insurance-wise remain to be seen.

A few key coverages could come into play in a situation such as this, the most obvious one being Brownstone's unique Equipment Breakdown Coverage, which is provided by Hartford Steam Boiler and is included with every single policy we write.

This endorsement will provide coverage if elements of the building are broke or damaged due to a power surge, including: communication devices (telephones, intercom etc.), security devices, elevators, electrical components, HVAC/AC, etc.

Loss of Rent Coverage might also come into play if residents are forced to evacuate their buildings due to a covered peril, such as smoke, and in the meantime are not paying rent. The building owner or manager would be reimbursed for lost rent money.

If the building owner or management company could also prove that their building experience damage caused by the smoke, that would be covered as well through Brownstone Insurance's master insurance policy.

A number of other coverages might be available through unit owner's or renter's insurance as well, such as Spoilage Coverage. If the power was out for an extended period of time and the food in your fridge went bad, it would be covered through your personal homeowner's or renter's policy.

Brownstone Insurance has your back. Contact us for a free comprehensive analysis of your current policy and a free, no obligation quote.