Business buildings insurance
So it’s that time of year again – the annual insurance renewal premium comes in. As businesses, we always want to make sure we have the right insurance to cover us if something happens – but we also want to make sure our premium represents value for money – so how do we know we are getting the right insurance for our needs?
What is business building insurance?
Business buildings are critical to the survival of most businesses – so if you own your building it’s essential that you insure it for all potential risks and that the level of cover is right. If you or your businesses is renting out premises to other people, insuring your buildings is even more important to the protection of your investment.
As a basic, you must insure the actual building – whether that’s a factory, a retail premise or your home office. The cover should be for the amount that it would take to rebuild the property (not for its market value) as this is the cost you would need the insurance company to pay if you totally lost your building for some reason. The sum insured should also include all fixtures and fittings in the building e.g. a fitted kitchen and things like shop fronts.
Additional cover can also be taken out for things like legal expenses, damage to glass, theft and terrorism. Depending on the location and nature of your business it may be best to include all these aspects in your cover – or run the risk of not being covered when an incident occurs.
If you don’t own your building, it is the responsibility of your landlord to insure the actual building – but you must make sure that landlord is clear what trade you are carrying on as this will affect the premium they pay. You must also ensure that you have business contents insurance to cover your stock and business equipment.
Business interruption insurance is also key in case you can’t trade because your building is damaged or you can’t get access to it. All businesses should also have public liability insurance even if your business is unoccupied.
What factors can cause my business buildings insurance to increase?
Many insurer providers will ask for minimum levels of security standards, particularly on external doors, opening windows and roof lights. If this is not being provided, your premiums are likely to increase – or you may not be offered cover at all. If your premium is increasing its worth asking if additional security measures would help to reduce your premium.
Changes of use can also affect the premiums offered. This could be as a result of a change in tenant or your type of business tenant and the new business is considered to be of higher risk. It could be because you are between tenants and the building is regarded as unoccupied which insurers would regard as inherently more risky.
Premiums can also change if the insurance companies regard the area or type of building you have as being more risky. This could be because there has been flooding or subsidence in the area or there have been previous claims made.
Who is responsible for my business building insurance?
If you own your building then it is your responsibility to insure the building itself.
If you do not own your building, it is your landlord’s responsibility to ensure the property itself is insured. You must still ensure you have contents insurance, public liability insurance and business interruption insurance to meet your needs.
Where do I get business building insurance from?
There are many online insurance organisations which will offer business building insurance and you can try a comparison website. The best method is to use a business building insurance broker, because this is a specialist area which you cannot afford to get wrong. Property Insurance Centre are specialists in commercial insurance and they have been developing relationships with all the major underwriters since 1976. Based in London and Northern Ireland, Property Insurance Centre take the time to find out about you, your business and your properties and will then engage with the underwriters to identify the best premiums which meet your needs. This will be the things you actually need cover for, ensuring you get the best value for the cover you need. Remember that with business building insurance the detail is always critical – don’t discover you are uninsured or underinsured when you try to make your claim. Ask the experts and get your cover right.
To get a quote today call our new business team on 0800 085 3761.