Commercial Property Insurance
Since there are far fewer commercial buildings than there are homes, and even fewer insurers, commercial property owners have a practical clean slate when it comes to building policies. There are no real “preset” policy structures, so anything goes, as long as you're willing to pay for it.
The biggest two categories of commercial property insurance are “all risk” policies or “named peril” policies. An “all risk” policy covers absolutely everything that is not specifically removed in a policy. A “named peril” policy, however, covers only what is specifically mentioned in the contract. This is a very important divisor between the two types of insurance, since one is inclusive (all risk) and the other is exclusive (named peril.)
One peril these two types both cover is loss of business in the case of a disaster. So, while you may have protection against fire for the property stored in a building, these policies would also compensate you for income lost during the time your business was closed due to the disaster. This is an important benefit, especially for single-income people and/or those who greatly rely on their day to day business activities to maintain their standard of living.
Depending on the type of commercial property you wish to insure (simply real estate or actual goods), theft insurance is either extremely important or of little concern. As a service provider, you might be just fine without theft insurance, as the most expensive valuables may be just a few computers and other electronics. As a retailer, however, theft insurance should be purchased to cover immediate inventory and warehoused goods.
You should make sure to include signs in your theft insurance as well. Since most mounted signs cost thousands of dollars, and are easily changed to fit any business, they are prone to theft. Sign insurance exists as well, and it will protect against damages caused by signage as well as the value of the signage itself. This may include signs hung on a building, or secured on the ground.
One of the most difficult policies to purchase, but one of the most frequently needed, flood insurance has become big business. Your insurance company will likely not offer flood insurance, and you'll need to turn to the National Flood Insurance Program to purchase this necessary policy. Absolutely check with both insurance agents to be sure that no gaps in coverage between your two or more policies exist.
The Blanket – Liability Insurance
Of all insurance, liability is the most necessary and probably the one insurance where it is best to be over-insured rather than under-insured. Since liability covers virtually everything from employee and customer injuries, down to the people affected by your product, it is wise to have ample coverage. Many businesses have been lost over small lawsuits due solely to a business owner's belief that their business would never get frivolously or legitimately sued.
Liability insurance is one of the least expensive forms of insurance, and one of the most necessary should you ever need it. Though it is rarely used, it is most often used to the tune of thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars.
There are a number of ways to reduce commercial property insurance, and it is likely your insurance company will provide a list of changes or improvements that can be made to your property to reduce costs.
Fire insurance, for example, is made less expensive with the installation of a proper sprinkler system. Since the sprinkler system reduces the risk of excessively large damages, your monthly premiums will be far lower. Likewise, installing an anti-theft alarm and video system will reduce your theft insurance premiums. These simple solutions are investments that will pay off for years, and should be discussed before and during your hunt for the right insurance.