The Basics of Commercial Property Insurance: An Overview

Nov 16, 2021

Business Insurance

The Basics of Commercial Property Insurance: An Overview

A commercial property insurance policy protects your business's physical assets from future uncertainties. For example, in the event a fire breaks out, a storm blows through, or a thief breaks in, your commercial property insurance will kick in and pay for the damages to your property. Here's some more information on this topic.

What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?

  • Equipment, Finished Products, and Inventory

    Your commercial property insurance can cover the things you need to operate your business - also called business property - such as furniture, inventory, equipment, and other items. This coverage also covers any upgrades or improvements that you've made to your premises. For instance, if you lease a space for a restaurant, everything inside the walls of that rented space can be covered by your commercial insurance policy.

  • Buildings

    If you own the building/structures where you operate your business, your commercial property insurance can help pay for reconstruction or repairs.

  • Interruptions in Business Income

    Business income coverage kicks in when you're forced to close your business due to reasons covered by your business property insurance policy. For instance, if an adjacent building catches fire and the smoke damages your business premises, you may have to close for a week or more for repairs. The business income interruption coverage will cover the revenue lost during the closure as well as ongoing business costs during that period.

  • Equipment Breakdown

    Equipment breakdown coverage kicks in when your business equipment malfunctions. It covers numerous types of mechanical issues, including power surges, short circuits, and more. For instance, if a power surge destroys your computers, this coverage can cover replacement costs.

When purchasing a commercial property insurance policy, you can either opt for an open perils policy or a named perils policy.

  • Named perils policy covers the costs emanating from perils specifically named in your policy, which typically include wind damage, vandalism, theft, and fire.
  • Open perils policy covers all issues except listed exclusions (for instance, flood damage). Consequently, open perils policies typically cost more as they offer broader protection than named perils policies.

What If You Don't Own the Building?

If you lease the building in which you operate your business, you should review your lease to determine your obligations when it comes to insurance. In some cases, the tenants may be responsible for the buildings' insurance or must pay rent even when the building is destroyed. You should review your lease agreement with your agent to ensure that you carry a commercial property insurance policy that protects you adequately.

How Much Does Commercial Property Insurance Cost?

The factors that determine the cost of a commercial property policy include:

  • Deductible and coverage limits
  • Location of business
  • Value of the insured property
  • Protection against theft and fire
  • Your industry - an accountancy firm's office likely carries less risk than a busy eatery.

How to Buy Property Insurance?

You can buy property insurance as part of the Business Owner's Policy (BOP) or as a stand-alone policy. Your insurance agent will help you craft a policy that covers the specific perils faced by your business.

As a business owner, you should carry the right commercial property insurance. For a business property insurance policy that suits your budget and insurance needs, contact our experts at  Knight Insurance Services today.