When you run a business, often its most critical asset is a physical premise – a warehouse, a retail Centre, a surgical practice, a spa… Regardless of the type of business you operate, maintaining proper commercial building insurance is a must. It helps you prepare for the “what if’s” of life – what if there were a fire? A theft? A water leaks? What if this happened – and you didn’t have insurance? That’s not a question you should even contemplate.
The Cover You Need to Protect Your Business
As with home insurance, there are two different types of commercial building insurance for sale:
Buildings Cover: These policies protect the structure itself from damage, fire and loss. Included as well are permanent fixtures and fittings, such as sanitary ware and kitchen fittings.
Contents Cover: Contents insurance protects the items and assets you have within the building. This can include anything from your inventory and computer systems to your office furniture and appliances.
Now, your contents policy may or may not cover electronics and technology. This is a critical question to ask your insurance agent. If it does not protect items like computer systems, printers, tablets, mobiles, etc., inquire about purchasing additional cover.
Even if you do not own the building (i.e. you rent or lease the space,) carrying contents cover is a smart idea. If you couldn’t afford to replace all of your items out of pocket, contents insurance is all but a must.
What Are You Protected Against?
It depends on your policy and your level of tolerance. You can choose to protect your business’s building from:
- Lightning, explosion and earthquake.
- Storm or flood damage.
- Theft, vandalism and malicious damage (e.g. riots, strikes, etc.).
- Accidental damage.
- Impact by vehicle or aircraft.
Most insurance companies provide blanket cover. For instance, they may cover £2.5 million. Others may require a rebuild cost. Work with your agent to determine the appropriate figure.
In terms of contents, you can protect your stock, equipment, appliances, staff and/or client possessions and goods in transit. This last – goods in transit – is important because it will safeguard shipments when they are in transport (e.g. when you are delivering products to a client).
Depending on the nature of your work, you may also want to consider these covers:
Public Liability: This protects you in the event that your work causes injury, illness or death to a third party (e.g. this is common in industries such as construction, driving-related professions, etc.).
Employers’ Liability: If you have a staff, this protection may be wise. It covers against injury, illness and death to those under your employ.
Business Interruption: If you cannot operate your business, this covers lost income.
Other covers include professional indemnity, legal expenses, employee disputes and more. Not all are applicable to your business. This is why it’s a good idea to discuss your insurance needs with your insurer or, if you have an existing policy, reevaluate it against your current needs.