If you are the owner of a strip mall or commercial office building, you are already aware of the responsibilities and risks that come with the territory. The safety of your investment depends in large part upon the fitness of your tenants’ businesses. It is vital that you understand this and take the proper steps to ensure the well-being of your premises as well as that of the companies that call it home.
When you own a commercial building, you are more than just a property owner. You are also a landlord, and your tenants trust you to provide them with a business space that is as safe and secure as it is attractive. For this reason, you need the protection of an insurance policy tailored for commercial buildings that offers adequate coverage with the least-possible adverse effect on your cost of doing business.
The Various Forms of Commercial Insurance
Insurance that’s designed for commercial landlords can be of several types. Although each can be customized to suit your specific needs, some basics are common to all. The savvy commercial property owner needs to consider:
- Premises liability. This will protect you against injuries that your tenants’ clients and customers might suffer on your property due to your negligence or failure to provide sufficient security.
- Property coverage. An adequate insurance policy will cover the entire extent of your premises. From interior spaces to the parking lot perimeter, you’ll need protection against damage that might result from fire, explosion, theft, vehicular assault and acts of vandalism.
- Business income coverage. When a natural disaster ravages your commercial property, you won’t be the only one to suffer. Your tenants will also feel the pain, and if lost business renders them unable to pay the rent, your bottom line is bound to take a hit. Business income coverage protects against this loss.
- Equipment breakdown insurance. Functional heating and cooling systems, computer setups, electrical equipment and the like are essential components of keeping modern commercial spaces up and running. A problem with any one of them can interrupt your tenants’ business operations with a resultant drop in your own income stream. Insurance against equipment breakdown will help with needed repairs and will often assist in replacing your lost business income.
- Signage insurance. With their wide-open exposure to the elements, the signs that identify your commercial property or its individual shops are in constant danger of damage from snow, rain, heavy winds, vandalism and natural disaster. As the building owner, their replacement or repair will be your responsibility, but most general commercial insurance policies will not provide reimbursement.
- Umbrella insurance. Despite what you might consider excellent coverage, every commercial business policy will have its limits. Once you have exceeded the maximum dollar amount, most will refuse to cover additional losses. That’s when umbrella insurance kicks in, helping to make up the difference once you’ve exceeded the limits of your regular policies.
Despite the amount and quality of coverage carried by you as the building owner, it’s best to also insist that your tenants carry general liability insurance of their own. This is for your protection, and if you decide to go this route, it helps to advertise the fact up front. If you don’t, some of your tenants won’t realize that you require it until the leasing agent insists on proof of its existence before turning over the keys.
The Commercial Building Policy That’s Right for You
Ownership of a commercial space carries a special set of risks and responsibilities. Your tenants expect you to provide them with adequate protection, and since they are the backbone of your venture, you must be up to the task. The health of your own operation will never be greater than the fitness of their own.
The agents at All Kinds of Insurance know this. We want to help your venture thrive, and our experience with a wide range of commercial building insurance providers allows us to scour the market until we have found and custom-tailored the commercial coverage that meets your property’s unique requirements.
A lack of adequate commercial business coverage could doom your operation, so don’t get caught short. Call All Kinds of Insurance today.