What is it?
Who needs it?
What is Commercial Property Insurance?
California businesses that own buildings, equipment and supplies have made substantial investments in those assets, and it’s important to protect such investments whenever possible. Commercial property insurance may provides protection against damage to, and theft of, businesses’ assets.
Commercial property insurance is similar to personal property insurance at points, but there also are places where the two diverge. Commercial policies have been adapted to better meet businesses’ needs, often offering protection for non-residential buildings, equipment and inventories.
What California businesses should carry Business Property Insurance?
Most California businesses that have physical assets should consider carrying business property insurance. This generally includes businesses that own land, buildings, equipment, supplies and/or inventory.
In some cases, businesses that have financed or leased assets are required to carry business property insurance. Lenders often require this in order to protect their interest in the assets.
Should businesses that lease space have a Business Property Policy?
Businesses that lease commercial space generally aren’t responsible for insuring the building itself. Such businesses may need to insure the build-out of their leased space, however. Tenants betterment coverage is a form of business property insurance that may provide the needed protection in this type of situation.
Should home-based businesses have a Business Property Policy?
Whether home-based businesses should consider a business property policy depends on a business’ assets and the owner’s home insurance policy.
A few home-based businesses might not have any assets of note. While this is uncommon, a business that truly has no significant equipment, supplies or inventory might not need property coverage for any physical assets. The vast majority of home-based businesses do have some assets to protect, though.
Sometimes, any needed asset protection can be obtained through a standard home insurance policy. Not all homeowners policies provide coverage for business assets, but a few homeowners policies can be adapted so that they give some basic protection. Basic protection might be all that a business needs.
When a home-based business’ assets can’t be properly protected via a home insurance policy, then a business property policy likely is in order.
Because these considerations make selecting insurance somewhat complex, owners of home-based businesses should consult with an insurance broker who specializes in business property policies. A knowledgeable broker will be able to steer business owners toward the right type of property insurance for their situation, even if that means simply adapting a home insurance policy.
What coverages are available through Business Property Insurance?
Business property policies might provide a few different coverages, depending on a particular policy’s terms. Some coverages that may be available include:
- Building Coverage: Usually protects structures on the insured property
- Tenants Betterment Coverage: Usually protects improvements to leased space
- Contents Coverage: Usually protects equipment, inventory and supplies on the insured property
Do Commercial Property Policies cover Floods and Earthquakes?
Most standard commercial property policies exclude both floods and earthquakes from their protections. Flood protection is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if a business’ property qualifies. Earthquake protection is available through earthquake-specific policies.
Can Commercial Property be packaged with other Insurance Coverages?
Commercial property coverage is widely available through standalone policies and through package policies. Business owners policies and commercial package policies are two types of package policies that typically include commercial property coverage.
How can California businesses get Commercial Property Insurance?
For help insuring business property that’s located in California, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers have the expertise necessary to help you evaluate the best available commercial property insurance policies, and we can recommend the best policy options irrespective of what insurance company offers them.