Way More Than Just Fire Insurance
The first Commercial Property Insurance policies were all about insuring against loss by fire. And this was for good reason; a fire in the core of a turn-of-the-century town or city would often level several blocks of buildings, making for provincial if not national news that kept this danger top of mind.
Fire obviously remains a leading cause of commercial property loss in New Brunswick, but advances in building construction and codes over the decades – not to mention the steady improvement in fire response – has caused that fire now has to share the spotlight with other causes of loss. In fact, today’s best Commercial Building Insurance programs essentially cover ALL causes of loss EXCEPT for a few causes and certain types of property listed in the exclusion section of the policy.
Customized Coverage Is Key
Although very comprehensive in their coverage levels compared to their predecessors, these modern Commercial Property Insurance policies can still leave some businesses with dangerous gaps in coverage if the insurance broker does not fully understand the business he or she is insuring. Some common gaps that should be addressed are:
- Crime insurance coverage:
which can include theft by your employees or customers, burglary, and also vandalism to your commercial building or its contents.
- Water damage coverage:
most “Broad form” insurance policies provide some basic water damage insurance coverage, such as water pipes suddenly and accidentally bursting within your building (where freezing isn’t present). The next level in water damage coverage should be what is commonly referred to as “Sewer backup” coverage to protect against water coming up through your municipal septic system. And, finally, you will want to consider commercial flood insurance, which may or may not be available in your particular area.
- Business Interruption Insurance:
is a form of coverage that ensures that certain business costs are taken care of while your company recovers from an insured loss. There is also “extra expense” insurance that will pay some additional costs to get you up and running at partial capacity while your Commercial Building Insurance works to get you fully operational (ie. Renting a temporary building and equipment).
- Commercial Property Floaters:for businesses that take commercial equipment and stock taken away from their insured premises for a period of time, usually to either to use it or install it on customers’ premises.
- Ensuring adequate commercial property values:There is always a danger of property values becoming out-of-date. You insure an older office space for $200,000 ten years ago, but have since put another $100,000 in renos into it. Or, your business has grown to a point where you now have three times the inventory you used to. Maintaining adequate commercial property values is a critical team effort between you and your insurance broker.
There are a variety of other insurance coverages that are specific to certain type of business or industry. For example, in addition to insuring their own business contents and equipment, a dry cleaner or appliance repair company has to worry about something called “bailee’s insurance” so that their clients’ belongings are covered while they are in their care while being worked on. Home-based business insurance can also be a tricky, as you need to maintain separate coverage for both your business and personal contents.
And then there’s the fact that small business insurance in New Brunswick presents different challenges than those of larger corporations. You need an insurance broker who understand the intricacies of all this. Call us today for a review of your Commercial Building Insurance needs!