Does your business own property? Common examples of commercial property include hotels, restaurants, medical clinics, retail stores, office buildings, shops, warehouses, and garages. Regardless of whether you own a state-of-the-art healthcare facility or an aging mechanic shop with only a couple of bays, you’ve invested in the property—so it makes sense to protect your investment.
Commercial property insurance was created for this specific purpose, providing coverage for everything from robbery to vandalism to fires. If you want to add natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes to your policy, that’s usually also an option. Just be aware that natural disaster coverage will cost additional money.
“This insurance policy protects your business property,” explains small business expert David Galic. “Not only does it protect your office or physical place of work, it covers things such as equipment, inventory, and signage as well. So it’s obviously a must-have for a brick-and-mortar business, but even if you’re an online shop with a storage facility that houses your inventory, it definitely wouldn’t be a bad idea to protect that property with commercial property insurance.”
Consider the risks your property faces, then structure your commercial property insurance policy accordingly. If you live in an area where flooding is a legitimate threat, that’d be a good inclusion on your policy. If you live in a region where earthquakes rarely rear their ugly heads, then you can probably save your money.
Ultimately, your insurance policy should protect you from legitimate risks that you wouldn’t be able to cover on your own. You’re also often required to purchase certain types of insurance in order to operate in certain states—so this decision could actually be made for you.
“In some instances, you might be legally required to purchase certain types of business insurance,” says the Small Business Administration. “The federal government requires every business with employees to have workers’ compensation, unemployment, and disability insurance. Some states also require additional insurance. Laws requiring insurance vary by state, so visit your state’s website to find out the requirements for your business.”
You should consult with your business mentor to get insights on what insurance to purchase. Then it’s time to work with insurance agents to identify policies that could be a good match for your business. Not all agents will have your best interests at heart, given their pay incentives, so you should seek out referrals for agents you can trust.
Once you’ve found a handful of commercial property policies that could work for your business, it’s time to break out the magnifying glass. Scrutinize the details of each policy, focusing on the price and terms. Your goal: finding a policy that provides solid protection at a favorable price.
After signing on the dotted line, you can rest assured that your commercial property is protected from a wide range of potential catastrophes. Each year, you should revisit your policy to make sure it still meets your needs and delivers value.