A commercial property policy provides coverage for many of the most common types of business insurance claims. It protects buildings and their contents, including computers, office equipment, furniture, artwork, and all your business personal property—whether it is owned or leased—if it is damaged by fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, weather, or certain other covered perils. If you own your building, your business property insurance needs to cover damage to the structure and what is inside; if you lease your space, you need this coverage for your business personal property.
Business property insurance typically includes business interruption coverage. If you sustain damage due to a covered peril that forces you to temporarily close or relocate, business interruption coverage reimburses you for ongoing expenses (rent, salaries, etc.) and lost income during the closure or relocation period.
Does your commercial property policy cover the top causes of property damage for businesses, or do you need additional policies or endorsements?
- Burglary and theft. Burglary and theft are two of the most common business property claims. A typical business property policy covers most burglary or theft claims.
- Water damage and freezing. Water damage can be caused by floods, hurricanes, burst pipes, or simple leaky toilets. Like your home, your business is susceptible to numerous kinds of water damage, not all of which are included in your commercial building insurance. There is no standard for water damage coverage; you need to carefully read through your commercial property policy to understand what is and is not covered. Here are some examples.
- Flood from a hurricane or another weather event. Flood damage is not covered under your commercial property policy.
- Burst pipes. Commercial property insurance usually covers water damage due to burst pipes. But if your insurance company feels that you were at fault or failed to take precautions to protect your pipes, your claim could be denied.
- Sewer backup. Sewer backup is not covered under most business property policies; however, you can add sewer backup coverage with a policy endorsement.
- Slow leaks. Plumbing or HVAC leaks are common and can cause a lot of damage. Damage from leaks that are deemed to be sudden and accidental are covered by your business property policy. If your insurance company feels that you have been negligent (perhaps you failed to fix an ongoing leak or properly maintain your building systems), your claim can be denied.
- Ground water seepage. Most insurance companies will not cover damage due to ground water seepage. This is typically considered a maintenance issue.
- Roof leaks. If your roof leaks and the roof and the interior of your building sustain damage due to a covered peril—wind, rain, hail, or fire—the damage is likely to be covered by your business property insurance policy. If the leak and subsequent damage occur because you did not properly maintain your roof, your claim is likely to be denied. If your roof damage is caused by a flood (such as a storm surge during a hurricane), your business property policy is not likely to cover it.
- Wind and hail damage. Wind and hail damage are typically covered claims on a business property policy.
- Fire. Fire is one of the most costly business property claims, and is covered under a commercial property policy.