Business Property Insurance – If insuring your home is an obvious course of action, insuring your business property is a complete no-brainer. Business Property Insurance protects you from one of the biggest problems that can hit a business – losing your business premises to some form of accident or disaster.
Business property insurance for shops
Retailers are the typical case of small businesses that need to have excellent Business Property Insurance. The cost of damage to businesss premises here is not just the loss of the physical framework, or of the contents within it – although these can be a great expense.
More importantly, damage to your business property can render you unable to trade from the location where your customers expect to find you, which in turn means that you can lose a good part of your business.
If you are going to deal with such a disaster, you need to be able to start up again as soon as possible, either in your existing building or somewhere else nearby. As you’d think, success in dealing with this is more a matter of skilled and quick-thinking management than anything else – but this is only posssible if good Business Property Insurance has got your back.
Then you can worry about the details of getting your business back on its feet, not about the overall question of who is going to pay for it.
Business property insurance for footloose businesses
The luckiest people among you are those responsible for so-called ‘footloose businesses’ – ones that can easily pack up and move from place to place, not being tied to the feet of clay that are business premises.
This includes many businesses that trade on the skills of their employees rather than on physical goods: consultancies, designers, accountants, even insurance agents.
It’s clear that these types of company can get off lightly if they lose their property. They won’t lose customers by losing their business property, and in many cases they can simply rent a temporary building and carry on working.
That’s true – and it is a serious benefit. But if you’re in that fortunate situation it doesn’t exempt you from the need for Business Property Insurance. It just means you need to look at different types of cover.
For example, you probably don’t need to worry about returning to the same building as before. That means you can get cheaper cover – you don’t have to worry about the situation where the cost to rebuild your business property is more than the value it is insured for.
Instead, you can focus on the core need to get your business up and running as soon as possible. Policies are available that will help you with the cost of setting up temporary offices elsewhere, for example, but this is something you will need to negotiate as an extra.
Information-centric businesses should also look at specific cover for paperwork and computer records. You’ll need to find the right balance between paying for backup systems and paying for insurance – although you will need to do both, to some extent.
Not always a disaster: thinking about small claims
When we think of Business Property Insurance, it’s natural to imagine the fire ripping through your offices, destroying everything in its wake. The reality is not like that: mos damage to business property is of a asmaller, elss dramatic kind: something that will not stop you trading completely, but could be immensely damaging to your business nonetheless.
You need to think about how your policy will cover smaller problems: theft, destruction of your records or computer equipment (many a business has had to deal with the consequences of a leaking roof above their records), a broken window in the shop front.
A good policy will cover all these, help you get them fixed properly, and will have a sensible deductible so you don’t find yourself paying the full price.
How to get the best business property insurance bargain
Shopping for Business Property Insurance has a lot in common with shopping for anything else. Phone up (or email) everybody you can find, asking them for information about what they offer. Listen carefully to what they say, question them, and stay away from anybody who seems to be trying to confuse you, or sell you things you don’t want.
Insurance companies are notorious for using the small print of a deal to get out of paying, so make sure you have everything down in black and white. One of the best ways to do this is to get your staff to sit down together for half an hour and brainstorm all the things that could go wrong.
Do this before you talk to an insurer. It’ll help you get your priorities straight, so that you can resist the hard sell and get Business Property Insurance tailored to exactly what you need.