Vacant Property Insurance Policy Information
Vacant Property Insurance. When a commercial property becomes vacant, the owners often wrongly assume their existing insurance policy will provide coverage during the period of vacancy. Since this is not usually the case, specific vacant property coverage is important for business owners to consider.
This vacant property insurance offers broad package, or monoline, property and general liability coverage for vacant, and certain partially vacant, commercial properties, condo units, or rental space - with or without renovation work.
Vacant property insurance protects your unoccupied buildings from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked vacant property insurance questions:
- How Much Does Vacant Property Insurance Cost?
- How Is Vacant Property Different From Commercial Property Insurance?
- What Does Vacant Property Insurance Cover?
- What Are Common Vacant Property Insurance Exclusions?
How Much Does Vacant Property Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small vacant property ranges from $37 to $59 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
As with all insurance policies, there will be a number of factors that the insurer will take into consideration when calculating your premiums. The importance of each factor will differ between insurers meaning that premiums can vary, so it's important to shop around for a policy that suits your needs.
Typical factors include the value of the property, how long you wish to be insured for, why the property is unoccupied, the security that you have in place and your address. The security of your property will have a huge effect on your premium, so make sure that every entry point to your commercial property is secure. If you have an alarm, ensure that it's activated when you're away or it could invalidate your insurance.
How Is Vacant Property Different From Commercial Property Insurance?
Since there are no operations there, vacant commercial properties tend to pose more risks than occupied ones. Acts of liability and fire, for instance, are potentially serious issues with a unoccupied property. Intruders might get hurt on broken floor boards or old fencing, and file a claim or sue.
Some typical property insurance policies won't cover these types of risks on a vacant property, but vacant property insurance is an option for you.
What Does Vacant Property Insurance Cover?
There are several increased risks associated with empty business properties. These include:
Liability: Optional liability provides coverage if you're found legally responsible for an accident on the vacant premises, that causes injury to someone or causes property damage.
Burst Pipes: This is a prime hazard for unoccupied properties due to the fact they are often left unheated. The water damage to vacant buildings is one of the reasons for which insurers insist on different coverage for unoccupied properties.
Flood and Fire: These hazards are considered by insurers to be more serious if they happen in unoccupied properties, as they stand more chance of getting out of control - which means greater levels of damage, and increased expense.
Squatters: Likewise, squatting is a serious problem for commercial landlords - not only because of the hassle and expense of removing uninvited occupants, but also due to the damage they may cause. People who enter a commercial property illegally and by force are unlikely to treat it with respect.
All these risks and hazards will be covered by a good vacant property insurance policy - which gives landlords the peace of mind to get on with the other aspects of their business.
What Options Are Offered On A Vacant Building Policy?
Named Peril Coverage - This covers "perils" (things like fire, explosion, lightning, wind and hail) that are specifically named in your vacant property insurance policy, subject to exclusions and conditions.
Agreed Loss Settlement (Total Loss) - If your unoccupied property is destroyed by a covered loss (a total loss situation), you receive the full amount of insurance you purchased on your vacant property insurance policy, minus any applicable deductible.
Actual Cash Value (Partial Loss) - In the event of a covered loss (a partial loss or partial damage), this covers the cost to replace or repair your damaged building, with a deduction for depreciation, which reflects the age and condition of your building, minus any applicable deductible.
Landlord Flexibility - If you rent your property, and it goes vacant between tenants, you can cover it with a unoccupied property policy. When someone moves in, it can easily be endorsed to a landlord or owner-occupied policy, all without having to cancel the policy or write a new one. (not available in all states).
Short Term Coverage - You don't have to insure your vacant commercial property for the usual 12 months required by a normal policy. Most firms allow you to arrange cover for three, six, nine or 12 months, with the option to extend if necessary. So, you might take out a three-month policy to cover your property while it is up for sale. But if the sale takes longer than expected, you could simply extend the policy as required.
Full 12 Month Policy - You can get flexible payment plans and a pro-rated cancellation, subject to minimum earned premium. This comes in handy in case you move back into the commercial property, sell it, find a tenant, or need to cancel for some other reason before your year is up.
Special Coverage - If your commercial property is a historical building, has a thatched roof or any other less common features, you may need special insurance to protect it while it's unoccupied.
What Are Common Vacant Property Insurance Exclusions?
Every policy will have exclusions that apply to it, but they'll vary from insurer to insurer so always read your terms and conditions. Examples of typical exclusions to look out for include:
- Loss or damage as a result of unforced entry e.g. when windows or doors are left open or unlocked.
- Damage caused by major works, for example extensions and structural repairs.
- Damage caused by contractors (contractors should have their own insurance).
Requirements For Unoccupied Property Insurance
Before an insurer will offer you policy, they'll want to know what condition your property is in. If the building is in a poor state of repair with broken windows and boarded-up entrances, they're unlikely to insure it. It can also be a good idea to remove any valuables that you have at the property and keep them somewhere safer.
Some insurers may require you to take steps to protect your commercial property while you're away, such as having approved locks on your doors and windows, a working burglar alarm and timer-controlled heating to ensure that your pipes don't burst in cold weather. You may also need to switch off all utilities and drain the water system.
Vacant Property Insurance - The Bottom Line
A vacant property faces an increased risk when it comes to potential damage. Whether your property will be unoccupied for just a few days or for several months, make sure to update your insurance policy and follow a few simple steps to protect your building(s).
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
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.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Workers Compensation Insurance||What is covered under workers compensation insurance? This type of insurance protects a business and its owner(s) from claims by employees who suffer a work-related injury, illness or disease. Workers comp typically provides the injured employee with benefits to cover medical expenses, a portion of his/her lost wages, rehabilitation costs if applicable, and permanent partial or permanent total disability.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Also learn about small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including small business commercial insurance costs. Call us (855) 767-7828.
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
- Manufacturing And Mercantile Rental Property
- Mobile Home Park
- Non-Residential Building Operators
- Office Buildings
- Safeco Landlord Insurance
- Shopping Center & Strip Mall
- Vacant Land
- Vacant Property
Rental property owners, real estate developers and property managers should keep an accurate survey of each property they own or that is in their care. This survey should include inventories of furnishings and equipment at those properties. These documents establish the extent of their insurable interest, facilitate the arrangement and placement of insurance and minimize controversy and confusion if a loss occurs.
Insurance coverage on property, general liability and professional or errors and omissions liability should be arranged and placed for every real estate and rental property risk.
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.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Signs, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Umbrella, Hired and Non-owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, and Stop Gap Liability.