Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance
How much does commercial insurance cost?
Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number.
What kind of business insurance do I need?
Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.
What is a Certificate of Insurance?
A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it.
Is business insurance tax deductible?
Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.
Apartment Building Insurance
Apartment Building Insurance. There are definite perks to owning rental property, since the role of landlord can be rewarding from both a financial and personal standpoint. However, landlords take on a lot of risk, which makes owning apartment building insurance an essential part of being in this niche. If you do not have the right type and level of apartment building insurance in place, you put yourself at risk of unnecessary financial problems if anything should go awry.
Apartments are residential structures built to provide living accommodations for multiple individuals or families through a rental agreement called a lease. Apartment buildings can be one story or multi-story, include two through dozens of living units, and may provide services such as clubhouse facilities, fitness center, laundry, parking garages, playgrounds, and swimming pools.
Apartment building insurance protects your property from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Understanding The Basics Of Apartment Building Insurance
The biggest concern for any property owner is protecting the property from catastrophic occurrences. While property insurance can be a bit complicated to understand, working with an agent is a good way to discover the nuances of the niche and find out how much insurance you really need for your business. The specific answer to your coverage needs depends on a variety of factors, including where your business is located, the type of construction being insured, and other variables.
In addition, your apartment building insurance should also protect you from any liability claims that may arise against you, including lawsuits, and provide coverage for lost rent income that you may experience following a loss covered by your insurance. An experienced agent can help you determine the amount of coverage required for full protection of your business. Some risks you face include:
- Storms, fires, and other types of catastrophic damage to your property
- Injuries to visitors, employees, and tenants
- Vandalism and theft
- Loss from libel and slander
- Advertising liability claims
- Loss of income from rentals
- Lawsuits arising from disgruntled employees and tenants
- Fraud allegations
- Intentional litigious acts by your employees
- Claims of misrepresentation
You can address these risks with a few types of apartment building insurance that your agent can tailor to your specific requirements, based on your business model and other factors.
Apartment Building Owners' Coverage
Several types of insurance can be essential for apartment building owners. As an owner of a rental property, you must protect yourself from liability and property risks.
You should protect your commercial property from loss, including loss from apartment buildings and complex buildings such as office space, garages, fences, common areas, storage buildings, and swimming pools. Your apartment building insurance should also cover any types of improvements, such as additions, or any structure that is currently being constructed or erected on your property. In addition, buy sufficient coverage to protect the personal property that is located on your business' premises, including items used for service or maintenance of grounds and buildings. The coverage amounts you choose depend on:
- Your mechanical and roof systems and how old they are
- The building's age
- The building's location
- Whether the building is a duplex, high-rise, or multifamily building
- The construction type
- Whether there is a clubhouse, fitness center, or swimming pool on the property
- Whether or not the building has a fire and security system
Keep in mind that any apartment building insurance you purchase will be subject to a specific deductible should you need to exercise your right to file a claim. This deductible should be carefully considered prior to purchase. You should ask yourself if the deductible should apply to each occurrence or to each building if you own a complex with multiple buildings. This is an important decision when buying coverage.
Consider for a moment that if you own several buildings that become damaged during a storm and you need roof repair, the deductible amount that you pay will be based either on the occurrence itself or on a per-building deductible. If you choose the per-building deductible, then you are responsible for the deductible amount before your coverage kicks in. If you buy a per-occurrence plan, then you will pay just a single deductible, no matter how many buildings become damaged. You should also consider loss-of-income coverage. This type of coverage provides reimbursement for any lost rent income that you experience due to damage or loss that results from a covered peril.
Landlord insurance, or commercial general liability protection, provides a buffer against claims of alleged or actual damage to property or any third-party bodily injury claims brought on by delivery personnel, repair personnel, visitors, or tenants. This can protect your business from any lawsuits resulting from sustained injuries ranging from slips and falls to tripping or injuries on the grounds. Some other possible insurance coverage types to consider include:
- Equipment/machinery coverage. This coverage protects you from the loss of income or damage resulting from covered equipment breakdown. For example, your steam boiler or your mechanical system breaks down.
- Commercial umbrella policy. This coverage provides excess liability protection for any events that occur that are in excess of the liability coverage you own.
- BOP policy. A business owner's policy provides a bundle of coverage for commercial property, business interruptions, and commercial liability all in one.
- Worker's comp. This policy covers employees working on your premises from any work-related injury or illness.
- Commercial auto coverage. Any vehicles owned and operated by your business must be covered under commercial auto coverage.
Avoiding Liability Claims
When operating an apartment complex or building, you may find yourself on the receiving end of lawsuits and liabilities. Apartment building coverage can mitigate the financial loss you experience, but there are ways to lower your chance of being subjected to claims to start with. Avoid claims by:
- Owning an appropriate amount of coverage.
- Keeping your property in good shape.
- Eliminating any environmental hazards in the apartments you rent.
- Keeping security a top priority.
- Avoiding discrimination when renting out units.
- Respecting tenant privacy.
- Letting tenants know of any potential dangers.
Finding the Right Policy
The unique circumstances of your business require unique coverage. You face particular risks when operating your business. Find an agent who is adept at working with business owners just like you to tap into an excellent resource for getting the coverage you need.
Apartment Building Operators Risks & Exposures
Property exposures are related directly to the number of apartment units. Ignition sources are from the electrical wiring, heating, air conditioning, and cooking systems. Older buildings should have wiring, heating, air conditioning, plumbing, and roof updated.
If the building was converted from a prior occupancy, it should meet all current residential building codes. Each apartment unit may have a separate heating system, or there may be a boiler building to supply heat to all units. All systems must be properly maintained on an ongoing basis. There should be hard-wired smoke/fire alarms in all units and common areas.
If alarms are battery-powered, there must be documented records of periodic maintenance. Housekeeping is critical if there is a central laundry area. Washers and dryers must be properly maintained. Items provided by the building owner, such as kitchen or laundry appliances, may be stolen by tenants or outsiders.
Premises liability exposure can be high due to the number of tenants and guests visiting the property. All buildings should meet life safety codes and be in compliance with codes on smoke and fire detection, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide detectors. Lead exposure, particularly on windowsills, must be considered if the building was constructed prior to 1980.
To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all premises must be well maintained with floor coverings in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Steps should have handrails, be well lighted, marked, and in good repair. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and fall. Balconies should be regularly inspected and maintained. Locks should be rekeyed after a change in tenant to prevent unauthorized access.
Swimming pools, exercise facilities, and playgrounds should be limited to tenant use only, and be properly maintained. There should be a maintenance activity log to document the owner's response to tenants' needs. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, or discrimination. Clear guidelines for tenant acceptability are important.
Workers compensation exposures are usually service, janitorial, or maintenance-related. Back pain, hernias, sprains, and strains from lifting and working from awkward positions are common. Skin and lung irritation can result from working with cleaning chemicals and paint. Interaction with tenants or guests can be difficult. Employees should be trained in dealing with difficult situations. Animals owned by tenants can bite or kick workers.
Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivables for rents due, computers, contractors' equipment for lawn and maintenance tools, and valuable papers and records for leases, mortgage, and tenant's information. Duplicates of all data should be made and kept off premises for easy replication in the event of a loss. Tools and maintenance machinery should be periodically inventoried and kept in a secured area after hours.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. Rents are generally collected the first of the month, and there may be large amounts of cash on hand. Payments by check are the preferred method for collecting rents.
Deposits should be made promptly with appropriate security provided. Monetary transactions must be controlled through the use of receipts and regular monitoring. Access to apartments must be limited to those authorized to do so, and access to master keys must be strictly controlled. Units should be rekeyed when there is a change in tenant.
Commercial Auto exposure is generally limited to hired & non-owned for employees running errands. If there are owned vehicles, such as those used to service units, any driver should have a valid driver's license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Small Business Economic Data & Insurance Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. Maybe you want to contribute to the economic growth of your community. Whatever the reason is, if you're thinking about starting a small business, it's important to understand pertinent information relating to small businesses in the United States; namely economic information and insurance regulations. After all, if you want your small business to succeed, you have to understand the economic trends organizations of a similar size in your area.
Likewise, you want to ensure that your small business is well protected with the right business insurance and that you are in compliance with the rules and regulations that pertain to commercial insurance in your region.
Read up on economic statistics and insurance information that relates to small business owners in the United States.
Small Business Economic Data In The United States
Here's a look at some information that was compiled by the Small Business Association (SBA) regarding the economic data that pertains to small businesses in the United States:
- In 2015, small businesses in the United States employed an estimated 58.9 million American workers, or 47.5 percent of the nation's private workforce.
- Largest shares = fewer than 100 employees. The small businesses that employed 100 people or less had the largest share of employment amount small businesses.
- Employment increased by nearly 2 percent. In 2018, employment amongst small businesses increased by 1.8 percent, which is an increase of 1 percent from the prior year.
- Increase in proprietors. In 2016, the number of small business proprietors increased by 2.3 percent.
- In 2015, small businesses were responsible for creating 1.9 million net jobs. Organizations that employed 20 people or less had the largest gains, as they added an estimated 1.1 million net jobs.
- There were 5.7 million loans that were value less than $100,000 issued by lenders in the United States in 2016. These loans were issued under the Community Reinvestment Act.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the incorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $50,347 in 2016.
- Small business owners that were self-employed at the unincorporated businesses that they owned reported a median income of $23,060 in 2016.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage. The SBA recommends the following insurance plans for small business owners:
- Commercial Property Insurance: In the case of an unplanned disaster - fire, flood, vandalism, theft, etc. - this type of coverage will help you avoid paying for the damage out of your own pocket. Even if you rent the property, you should still carry commercial property insurance.
- Commercial Liability Insurance: In the event that a legal situation arises - a negligence lawsuit, for example - commercial liability coverage will provide financial protection. It will cover the cost of legal defense fees, court fees, and even moneys that may be awarded.
- Commercial Auto Insurance: If you operate a vehicle for any activities that are related to your business - transporting and/or delivering goods, or meeting with clients - commercial auto insurance is legally required for businesses of all sizes, including small businesses.
Additional Resources For Commercial Property Insurance
Read up on small business commercial property insurance, including how business property insurance protects your company's building's and/or their contents from damage, destruction, theft and vandalism.
- Apartment Building
- Business Interruption
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Commercial Property
- Condo Association
- Equipment Breakdown Protection Insurance
- Homeowners Association Insurance
- Inland Marine
- Mobile Home Park
- Non-Residential Building Operators
- Shopping Center & Strip Mall
- Vacant Land
- Vacant Property
The main goal of any commercial property insurance program is to protect the insured's real and business personal property. Buildings and their contents property usually represents a significant portion of its total assets, regardless of the size of the business. A commercial property program can provide the coverage you need if a loss should occur.
The ISO Commercial Property Building and Personal Property Coverage Form is an insurance industry standard that provides this needed coverage. As a result, it should always be reviewed and used as a benchmark for comparison when evaluating any commercial property coverage form.
This policy treats business personal property as more than just the contents of a building. When there is a limit of insurance on the declarations, property can be covered if inside the building or structure or within 100 feet of the building or premises and either in the open, or even in or on a vehicle.
There are many endorsements available to tailor the ISO Commercial Property Coverage Forms. Some are mandatory for all policies while others are mandatory for specific classifications and types of business. Others are optional and permit a standard form to be customized to meet a specific risk's coverage needs. Endorsements broaden, restrict, delete, modify, or add coverage.
These policies can provide the following additional coverages for small specific limits of insurance: debris removal, preservation of property, fire department service charge, pollutant clean up and removal, increased cost of construction and electronic data.
Quotes from leading small business insurance carriers including: ACE, AmTrust, Chubb, Cincinnati, CNA, Colony, Employers, Evanston, Fireman's, Foremost, Guard, Hanover, Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, LLoyd's of London, Markel, MSA, Nationwide, Penn America, Philadelphia, Prime, Progressive, Scottsdale, The Hartford, Travelers, USLI, Utica First, Western World, Zurich & others.