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Compare commercial property insurance
Shelter your business's buildings and physical assets, but watch our for a few exceptions.
Commercial property insurance can include a variety of business-owned property from your office building to fences or signs. Any business that uses a building, equipment or stores inventory can benefit from this type of policy. But watch out for the way your policy reimburses damaged property — you could lose thousands if it factors in depreciation.
What's in this guide?
- What is commercial property insurance?
- What does commercial property insurance cover?
- Compare commercial property insurance
- Factors that affect the cost of commercial property insurance
- What's not covered with business property insurance?
- How do I compare commercial property insurance?
- Bottom line
- Common questions about business property insurance
What is commercial property insurance?
Commercial property insurance is a business insurance policy that protects a business’s buildings, equipment or merchandise from damage. The types of damage covered typically involve theft or the weather, such as wind, hail, fire or stolen valuables. This coverage may include contents temporarily moved to a different location for storage or transporting purposes.
What does commercial property insurance cover?
Property coverage protects a variety of business-owned property against a host of risks, including:
Types of damage covered
- Water damage from burst pipes
Types of property covered
- Computers, desks and supplies
- Fences and landscaping
- Glass, such as windows
- Important documents
- Items in temporary storage
- Outdoor signs
- Rental or customer property while under your business’s care
- Tools and equipment
- Valuables up to the chosen policy limit
Compare commercial property insurance
Must read: How do insurance companies determine replacement cost?
Many insurance companies reimburse you for property damage based on the depreciated value of the damaged item. This means you’ll get reimbursed for your property while factoring in its age and used condition, called the actual cash value. So you may not receive enough money to replace your equipment or building with a brand new version.
However, if you buy a policy with replacement cost coverage, you’ll receive the full amount needed to buy brand new property of a similar brand and quality.
Factors that affect the cost of commercial property insurance
Keep in mind there’s a wide range of factors that can influence how much your business property insurance will cost. The main factors include:
1. Where your business is located
Your business’s location can affect your premiums based on crime in that location or the value of property in your area. Higher burglary activity increases the chances that your building might get damaged or equipment stolen. Plus, higher property values mean the insurance company will pay more to restore your business to working order.
2. Safety and construction features
You might score bonus points with your insurance company for having safety features on your property. Keeping valuables in locked storage, hiring security personnel and installing cameras and strong locks can make a difference.
In addition, your company might thank you for using damage-resistant materials when constructing or remodeling your buildings.
3. Your industry
Some industries use heavy machinery, perform large financial transactions or keep valuable inventory on hand. These industries may see more expensive premiums than the coverage for a small office supplies business.
4. Claims history
Insurers take your business’s previous claims into account when assessing your application. If storm damage or burglary has caused problems in the past, they could point to future claims. Your premium may reflect the higher risk that your insurance may pay out a settlement.
What’s not covered with business property insurance?
Your business property insurance policy may list several important situations that won’t receive coverage:
- Earthquakes — You’ll need a separate or add-on earthquake policy if your business is at risk for earthquake damage.
- Equipment breakdowns — Your equipment coverage includes damage caused by weather or theft, but not mechanical breakdowns. However, you can buy add-on coverage for breakdowns.
- Flooding — While all policies cover storm damage, most won’t offer any coverage for damage or loss caused by floods.
- Lost business revenue — You won’t receive reimbursement for lost revenue if your business has to close down from property damage. Lost revenue is covered under business interruption insurance.
- Money and securities — Your policy may not reimburse lost cash, checks or securities, unless it states this coverage specifically.
- Motor vehicles — You’ll need to buy commercial car insurance or another policy specialized to your business vehicles.
How do I compare commercial property insurance?
The best thing you can do is research what each insurance company can offer your business. The right policy for your business doesn’t always mean the cheapest quote. Compare the following:
- Benefits included. Look at the benefits of competing policies, noting those that offer the level of coverage you need. If you need broad coverage, you can search for companies that include extra coverage without charge.
- Type of reimbursement. Consider a coverage that reimburses your business based on the replacement cost of your building. You can save thousands of dollars this way if you need to repair or replace a damaged building later.
- Limits and exclusions. Take care to read your entire policy, including fine print and product disclosures. These can familiarize you with any limitations that may draw you away from a policy, such as limited coverage for computers or equipment.
- Managing risks and discounts. Watch for companies that offer services to help you identify and manage risks to your property’s safety. These companies may provide discounts for keeping your risks low.
Commercial property insurance protects your business’s buildings and contents from a variety of storm damage and theft. You can get reimbursed for damage caused by hail, snowstorms, wind, tornadoes, fire or burglaries. Make sure you compare business property insurance options, so you end up with the right level of coverage for you.
Common questions about business property insurance
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