Commercial property insurance by monthly subscription
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Commercial property insurance, also known as commercial landlord insurance, covers you if you own a building that is used for commercial purposes (like shops or offices).
This cover can also sometimes be known as commercial buildings insurance, though it usually also covers you for liability and not just damage to the building itself.
Having commercial property insurance cover in place is not a legal requirement. However, if you own a building used as business premises, whether you run it yourself or lease it out, it is highly recommended.
Commercial property insurance protects your property against a range of insured incidents, such as flood and fire damage. It can also protect you against legal action and loss-of-rent.
Cover will vary by insurer, but commercial property insurance usually includes the following elements:
Many insurance companies offer the option to cover just one building or include your entire portfolio under a single policy.
Different providers will offer different options. You might be able to add legal expenses to your cover and extend the cover offered for unoccupied buildings beyond the 30 days that are often included as standard.
Some companies might also offer cover for non-standard, residential and mixed-use buildings for additional premiums or through separate policies.
Many insurers would be willing to refund unused premiums. So, if you’ve paid in advance for the year and have a few months left on your policy, you might be offered a refund for the remaining months. If you pay by direct debit, you might be able to cancel the rest of your payments.
Note that the insurance company is under no obligation to refund you and may charge a cancellation fee if you cancel your policy before it expires.
If you’ve made a claim on your policy, you are unlikely to be given a refund and may have to continue paying your monthly instalments for the remainder of the policy term.
If your policy includes buildings cover, then the structure of the flat would be covered. This would usually include property owner’s liability, so slips and falls related to any part of the building can be covered.
The contents of the flat will not be covered (this would usually include fixtures and fittings), so the tenants will need to arrange their own contents cover for their items.
Some insured events can cause severe damage to your building. For example, it can be consumed by fire or badly damaged in a storm. If this happens, you may suffer a loss of rental income until the property has been fully repaired. Depending on the location, type and construction of the property, this can take a long time.
Most insurers will allow you to set your own time limit for your loss-of-rent cover, so consider the requirements of your building (particularly if it’s listed or requires specialist construction) and make sure you give yourself ample time to make all the necessary repairs without losing out on precious income.
Most insurers can cover unoccupied properties for up to 30 days for insured incidents. This usually includes things like fire, storm damage and earthquakes. That said, don’t assume this cover is included – always check the policy details.
If you need cover for a period longer than 30 days, talk to your insurer. It may not offer this, but might be able to point you in the right direction.
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