If you own your business premises, whether it’s an office, shop, restaurant, garage, bar or even a home office, you are strongly advised to take out business building insurance. Whilst not a legal obligation, it’s the place your business trades from, where your employees work, where your stock is housed and all your business assets are kept, so making sure it is fully insured should be a priority.
What does business building insurance cover?
Your property insurance policy should cover you for the following, though not all will be applicable for every type of business property:
- Damage to the building from disasters (such as fires and floods)
- Loss of income during interruption to business operations following damage to the property
- Fixtures and fittings should be included in the premises insurance policy, this covers for the costs of fitted kitchens, bathrooms and shop fittings
- Shop front cover to protect windows, shutters and signage can be included as an additional extra for retail outlets and restaurants (if a break in occurs these will likely get damaged). However, installing good shop front security, like roller shutters, may help lower your building insurance premium as well.
- Loss of rent whilst your building is out of action
- Emergency cover for repairs, call outs, parts and labour
- Legal expenses
If you rent your business property, you won’t need to take out business building cover if it is already included as part of your business rental or lease. However, you should always check this with your commercial landlord to be sure. You will, in all likelihood, still need to take out business contents insurance to cover repair or replacement costs if your business possessions are stolen or damaged.
Some important details to consider
It is crucial that the level of building insurance cover you take is correct and that all the details supplied are accurate, so that if the worst did occur, your business insurance company will pay out. A few key things to remember are:
- Don’t confuse market value with rebuild value. Just because your property is worth a certain amount to sell, this certainly doesn’t mean you could rebuild it following a fire or flood for that amount. You must cover for rebuild value.
- Most home insurance policies will not cover home offices or studios, so if you or your employees work from home at any time this needs to be included as an extra.
- Business building insurance companies will want to know what security measures you already have in place for your property. They may even dictate some minimum standards to be met before insuring you.
- If you have more than one business property in your portfolio, it may be cheaper to get them all insured together.