If you own the premises from which you operate a business you are likely to be concerned about protecting the investment you have made – those very same premises may be threatened by the possibility of fire, flooding, storm damage, impacts, vandalism and theft. Any of these events, of course, might make it so difficult to continue your normal trading that the business itself is seriously jeopardised.
It is also typically likely that if your commercial premises is mortgaged, then as part of your mortgage contract, you will be obliged to have suitable buildings insurance to protect both your and your mortgage provider’s financial interests.
Even if you do not own those premises, but are simply a tenant, however, property insurance may still be something to which you may want to pay close attention – the very least of which may be checking with your landlord that adequate cover is in place to safeguard your principal place of operations as well as understanding what elements of your business assets (such as computers or furnishings) are not covered. That way you can source the necessary business contents insurance cover.
The cover typically included in business property insurance
If you have ever arranged insurance for a property, you may be aware of the principal headings. If you are a home owner, for example, you might already have considered some of the risks to which the building is exposed and the extent to which insurance may safeguard against things going horribly wrong.
Typically, therefore, your business property insurance might provide comfort against the following types of risk:
- fire – a peril with potentially disastrous consequences and, at worst, the need to completely rebuild the premises;
- flooding – a risk that might render all of your systems, equipment or fixtures inoperable and, therefore, a potentially terminal state of affairs for your business;
- impacts – may come from the street, from the skies or from where ever – the effect may be spell the end of your normal trading activities;
- vandalism – whether a passing annoyance or damage that threatens your normal working operations, this is a risk that you might want to protect against;
- subsidence – when it comes to protecting your business premises, any risk against the underlying possibility of subsidence may be difficult to isolate – some policies, therefore, might cover this risk as standard, whilst others may not. You might want to check, therefore, whether your insurer includes indemnity against such a risk.
Business interruption insurance
You may also want to check that in the event of an insured event rendering your property un-usable (for example, due to fire or flood) whether the cost of alternative commercial premises will be covered until such time your own premises is repaired. This is known as business interruption insurance.
Whatever the inclusions and restrictions concerning your cover on your business premises, you might want to ensure that the principal base of your operations is adequately covered.