In the past few months, newspapers and online news sites have been full of stories on the natural disasters that have overtaken many cities in the U.S. and deprived thousands of families of their homes. Little, however, has been written about businesses that have been closed for weeks and sometimes months as a result of weather-related disasters.
Business property coverage becomes increasingly important to business owners when weather and natural disasters become more unpredictable, as they have in the past few years. In these cases, damage to a commercial building that is not handled expeditiously can have catastrophic consequences to your income.
Business interruption insurance can help replace your income after a covered loss. When endorsed on your property policy, coverage is triggered by a covered event such as a fire or a tornado. Most carriers do not include coverage for events such as an emergency evacuation or a civil disturbance, although coverage for these types of events can be added by endorsement.
While you are considering purchasing business interruption insurance, don’t forget about the equipment and furnishings contained in your building. Today’s businesses invest heavily in computers, peripheral devices and media, and many are purchasing coverage to repair or replace damaged software or data lost due to power failures, viruses, or physical damage to computer equipment.
Additionally, expensive art, furniture, or other scheduled personal property is an important element in property insurance protection.
Equipment breakdown coverage fills the gap left by traditional insurance policies, which cover your equipment for external events such as a fire or a windstorm. With equipment breakdown insurance, you are protected in the event your valuable equipment sustains physical or financial damage resulting from an explosion of steam boilers. It also covers equipment such as computers, telephone systems, or mechanical or plant machinery if they are damaged by internal losses such as electrical arcing or short circuits.
More of today’s businesses are “going green.” Whether you are building a new structure designed with a reduced carbon footprint or rebuilding “green” after a loss, you may want to ensure that your property coverage will meet the additional costs of environmentally friendly upgrades.
Although the industry is changing, many insurance policies do not cover these costs. It’s important to talk your insurance professional to find out what is now available for companies investing in environmental upgrades. As well, check to see if tax breaks and other incentives are available to help you offset any additional insurance premiums costs.
In summary, with the right coverage, your earnings should be protected after a covered loss, and your equipment, insured to value. The correct policy should also ensure you have access to information and support to help prevent equipment breakdown or catastrophic events.
Your insurance professional will assist you in finding the coverage that will work for you. He or she is conversant with the nature of these unique business risks, and will work to ensure you have the appropriate coverage.
Beat our increasingly unpredictable weather, and save yourself and your company from devastating losses.