Buying and Understanding Commercial Business Insurance
August 9, 2015
Property insurance, an important component of commercial business insurance, protects small business owners from losses due to damage to the physical space or equipment, and also as a result of theft. Business property includes the physical building in which the company resides, as well as its other viable assets. Any and all owned or leased items can be considered business property.
It’s important to assess the value of your property before securing a policy, and periodically thereafter, when any type of property insurance coverage is purchased. Make sure to keep copies of receipts for equipment, furniture and other valuable items in the event your premises are destroyed or damaged by water or fire. Keeping physical photos of your property in another location along with digital pictures stored on your computer or with a web service is a good idea.
Properly insuring expensive office items
If you have high-valued items like antiques and artwork you should have them assessed by a reputable appraiser prior to buying property insurance. These types of items are usually covered for an agreed-upon amount before a policy is written, making it important to speak to your agent about these specialty items so that he or she can provide you with the correct coverage.
For those who lease your building or offices, never rely on your landlord to provide coverage for your business property, as the building will typically provide insurance only for the basic structure and common areas. Be sure to read your lease carefully as there may be other requirements or penalties in the fine print.
Check to see what is and is not covered so that you are fully protected if something happens to your property and equipment or if someone decides to sue you for damages caused by you or one of your employees. A property insurance policy generally includes a statement specifying the limit of liability so be sure you understand how it works.
It’s important to note that the limit of liability is clearly defined as the maximum amount an insurer will pay for a covered loss. Typically, the insurer will bear responsibility up to a certain limit, as stated in the policy, with the policyholder liable for amounts above that limit.
Costs for commercial business insurance coverage are tied to the type of small business you operate. Speak to an agent that can help you determine just which types and amounts of coverage will best fit your needs.