FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 1, 2023
Within your business, you’ll keep a lot of items. You might even own the building in which your company operates. These physical assets have monetary value besides their practical values. Therefore, you don’t want anything to happen to them. Should damage occur, then, you might want your business insurance to cover the costs from the damage. If you have property insurance, you might have help available. However, policies won’t cover everything. Let’s take a closer look at the situations and assets that your commercial property insurance might cover.
Commercial insurance is supposed to protect your business in case unexpected or unpreventable accidents occur that impact operations.
When such problems occur, they might throw your operations and your financial sustainability into question. Property damage is one of the most-noticeable and perhaps most-costly accidents that might occur.
For example, a fire might occur in your business. Or, a severe storm might blow through. You might not have been able to avoid these losses. However, when these events occur, they could cause severe damage to both interior and exterior aspects of your property. Therefore, you will need the resources to help you recover from such losses.
Commercial property policies can help address such losses that might result from events like these. However, you cannot expect all items to have full coverage, from any type of accident. That’s why you should take a close look at your commercial policy when you enroll. That way, you will be able to know that you have appropriate coverage from the get-go.
Covered Property Damage
Your commercial property policy will usually offer two critical types of coverage in general.
This is the property insurance that will apply to your business’s owned structures, like your office building or storefront. It can also often extend to other structures on the business’s property. The policy will therefore pay if a covered incident were to damage such structures. Keep in mind, you might only need this coverage if you own the building or property from which you operate. If you lease the space, you might only need commercial renters coverage, which is a bit different.
Your policy will apply to the items stored within your business. Therefore, should a covered event damage these items, then this coverage can aid you in repairing or replacing the items.
Some of the possessions covered by your commercial possessions insurance might include:
- Furnishings within the business
- Computer systems and other electronics
- Manufacturing equipment
- Products, inventory and stock
- Certain important documents
- Exterior features and signage
Your goal, therefore, is to appraise and carefully document the value of your important possessions. That way, you can make sure you receive adequate payment for losses. You might need to have documentation of this property value on file to qualify for assistance.
Your property insurance might insure a diversity of your physical assets and contents. However, one limitation is that your policy might not cover all types of incidents that might lead to the property damage. However, in general, policies will cover a variety of losses, like:
- Severe weather: Damage from lightning, wind, hail, falling objects and similar weather occurrences might have coverage. The weight of ice and snow might also have coverage.
- Fire: If a fire occurs on your property, then you might be able to receive coverage for both damaged possessions and the structure.
- Theft: A robbery or burglary of your establishment (by employees or outside parties), might cause both property damage from forced entry and the loss of possessions.
- Vandalism: Should someone intentionally damage your property, then this coverage can pay for the repairs. Keep in mind, if you intentionally damage the property, then as the policyholder, you likely won’t have coverage.
- Damage by vehicles: Coverage will pay if someone hits your business with a car.
Still, many policies will often exclude certain types of damage. For example, water damage is sometimes covered, and sometimes excluded.
Coverage for Water Damage
Say, for example, that a pipe bursts in your business and floods your stockroom, damaging your products. In these cases, your property insurance might pay the recovery costs. However, damage from weather-related flooding is often harder to insure.
If a tree falls in a storm, puts a hole in your roof and lets rainwater in, then coverage might pay for the cleanup. However, a true example of flood damage, like flash flooding, might have no coverage available. For that protection, you might need commercial flood insurance, which typically is not included in your standard commercial property insurance.
As a business owner, your priority should be to work with your insurance agent to determine how best to insure property assets. You might need to add special riders and endorsements for unique possessions. You might also need specialty coverage for certain types of property damage. Therefore, always be up-front with your agent about your concerns for protecting your property. They can help guide you in choosing the right balance of coverage.
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