“Without a service contract, will the OEM respond to our service needs in a timely manner?”

A common perception is that OEMs will not prioritize time and materials service calls but there is no empirical evidence that response time suffers for time and materials customers. OEMs are highly motivated to respond to all service calls because they know poor service has a negative impact on future capital equipment sales. Most OEMs are customer service-orientated and will respond to all their customers, regardless of how they are paying, based on the service need (is the equipment operating fully, partially, or not at all?). The only time a contracted customer might take priority is if two calls came into the same territory, at the same time, with the same level of urgency, and only one engineer is available; and that almost never happens.

“Without an OEM service contract, will we lose free software upgrades?”

When an OEM salesperson states that software upgrades are included in their service contract free of charge, they are usually referring to software updates. Software updates are modifications or error corrections (aka bug fixes) to existing software. The OEM provides them voluntarily or the FDA mandates them if the bug impacts patient or consumer safety. However, in both cases they are free with or without a service contract. True software upgrades are actual replacements of the existing software with newer versions. There is usually a clause somewhere in the contract stating this is excluded or there is an additional cost, either itemized or bundled. If the contract is offering true software upgrades, we’ll help you evaluate its value and make an informed decision.

“Does the Budget Guard Insurance program require us to use inferior service providers and parts to save money?”

The quality of the service always depends on the service vendors you select to service your equipment and the replacement parts such vendors install. If an independent service organization is utilized to perform service on covered equipment, we will work with you to verify that the provider is qualified to provide service on the subject equipment and that any parts they source and install met or exceed OEM specifications.  

“How does the Budget Guard Insurance program guarantee our PM and repair (maintenance) budget?”

Unlike most of our competitors that write service contracts that may or may not be backed by insurance, Budget Guard Insurance offers an actual equipment maintenance insurance policy. Insurance companies are highly regulated by each state in which they conduct business and are rated for their financial strength and ability to pay claims. Our carrier is a major property and casualty insurer that is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company as of September 15, 2021.

“Can our in-house technicians provide service on equipment covered by the Budget Guard Insurance program?”

Yes! If your in-house technicians are qualified to perform service on equipment covered by Budget Guard Insurance, you can submit a claim for their labor and the cost of any parts that they replace, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. The covered portion of a claim is applied to the aggregate deductible.

“Is preventive maintenance (PM) included in the Budget Guard Insurance program?”

Yes! Budget Guard Insurance covers both PM and repairs, per the terms and conditions of the policy. We match the PM frequencies shown in your current service contracts. If the contract does not specify PM intervals, we utilize the known OEM specifications. For medical equipment, we can adjust PM intervals upon your request if your organization utilizes an Alternative Equipment Maintenance (AEM) program, provided the adjustment meets federal, state, and local standards and is compliant with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Joint Commission guidelines.

“What documentation is needed to report a claim?”

We require a copy of the service vendor’s field service report and related invoice. For service performed on covered equipment by your in-house technicians, a work order generated by your internal maintenance management software or a manual work order with necessary details is acceptable. We’ll assist you with developing an acceptable report.

“When do claims have to be submitted?”

We require that field service reports and invoice are submitted to us within 90 days of the service event per the terms and conditions of the policy. We’ll work with you to develop an internal process to ensure these documents are collected and routed properly.

“When do service events have to be approved in advance?”

If a service event is expected to exceed the large loss notification amount shown in your policy, you must contact us before proceeding with the repair. However, if the subject equipment is deemed critical to your organization and listed as such in your policy’s equipment list, you may have the service vendor proceed without obtaining prior authorization. However, if the circumstances permit, you may contact us for assistance in managing the event.

“What happens if our total maintenance costs exceed the aggregate deductible amount?”

Our insurance carrier directly reimburses your organization for the excess amount per the terms and conditions of the policy, thereby capping your maintenance costs and protecting your savings.

“Can we self-insure our equipment maintenance program now?”

You may be tempted to forgo the safety of a guaranteed service budget and self-insure by relying solely on time-and-materials service immediately. However, while self-insuring does offer economic advantages through good years, major equipment failures can be difficult to anticipate and manage. Therefore, it is imperative that you develop an accurate service budget, an efficient time-and-materials management system, and an adequate financial reserve before transitioning to self-insurance. If self-insuring is your goal, we’ll work with you to establish a plan to transition from contracted OEM and ISO service contracts to Budget Guard Insurance, and then eventually to self-insurance in a reasonable time frame. Because we share all equipment service data with you; this can be an opportunity for you to gain extensive time-and-materials service data while benefiting from the budget protection and savings generated by the Budget Guard EMI policy.

“Can we purchase your equipment asset management services without the Budget Guard Insurance program?”

Yes! Our physical inventory, data verification, data mapping, database cleansing, and HTM consulting may be purchased separately and not tied to the Budget Guard Insurance program. In fact, if you lack confidence in your equipment inventory database, a full physical inventory and data verification project is highly recommended.

“We have the resources to perform a physical inventory in-house. Can we use your proprietary inventory software and data verification services for an in-house project?”

Yes! The physical inventory can be performed by our team, your team, or a mix of both teams. Your in-house team can utilize our cloud-based software, tools, and project management expertise to perform the physical portion of the inventory. This is a cost-effective and efficient way to get the job done because your team knows your environment and your internal department personnel very well. This is especially effective for organizations that want to limit the number of visitors to its facilities.

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