Washington D.C. Shopping Center And Strip Mall Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. Shopping Center And Strip Mall Insurance. A shopping center is a building or group of buildings with parking facilities in which space is rented to stores, professional offices, services, and eating establishments. The center can have as few as five tenants or may be a large mall with hundreds of tenants.
While the lease agreement spells out who is liable for losses, the shopping center is generally responsible for common areas, including parking lots, sidewalks and all maintenance; tenants are responsible for the specific unit that they lease. Vacancies can indicate a financial problem.
Being the owner of a shopping center or a mall can be an excellent investment. Consumers are always looking to purchase products, and businesses are always looking for spaces where they can easily supply their consumers with the products that they seek.
However, owning a shopping center or a DC strip mall is more than just an investment; it's also a responsibility. Your tenants rely on you to provide them with a safe space where they can conduct their business, and shoppers count on you to offer them a safe and secure space where they can buy the items they want and need.
Shopping centers lease space to retail and service tenants. The leases can be offered on a short-term basis or extend through a number of years. Shopping centers can be of the strip mall type with as few as five tenants or may be large mall-type mega centers.
There are certain risks that come along with the responsibility of owning a shopping center or mall. Damaged property, fires, injuries; these are just some of the risks that you face. Shoppers and tenants alike could file lawsuits against you, which could result in serious financial distress. Plus, legal action could put your reputation at risk, which will only cause further financial hardship.
How can you protect yourself from the risks that are associated with owning a mall or shopping center? - By making sure that you have the right Washington D.C. shopping center and strip mall insurance coverage.
Washington D.C. shopping center and strip mall insurance protects your property from damage & lawsuits with rates as low as $77/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Commercial General Liability Insurance
Though there are several types of insurance policies that a DC shopping center or mall owner should carry, the most important is commercial general liability. Washington D.C. shopping center and strip mall insurance coverage will protect your business from any financial losses that are related to injuries, property damage, and various other risks. Generally, a commercial general liability insurance policy offers the following types of coverage:
- Premises Liability - DC shopping centers and malls are bustling with activity. As shoppers or delivery people are walking throughout your facility, there is always a chance that they could trip or fall, that a piece of equipment could break and cause an injury, or that something could malfunction and damage personal property. With premises liability, the damages that are associated with such situations will be covered. For example, if a shopper is injured, your insurance will cover the cost of medical care, legal fees, and any compensation that you are required to pay.
- Products Liability - Though the tenants within your shopping center or mall are responsible for any products that they sell, it is still a good idea for you to have your own products liability coverage. If a product malfunctions and injures a shopper or damages someone's property and the policy of the tenant doesn't offer enough coverage - or worse, the tenant doesn't have coverage - you could be held liable. With products liability coverage offered under commercial general liability insurance, you will be protected from any legalities that arise as the result of a faulty product that causes an injury or property damage.
- Completed Operations - Under general liability insurance, you will also receive completed operations coverage. This section of general liability insurance will safeguard you from any lawsuits that could potentially arise after you have completed a service for a shopper. For example, if a customer believes that a service you offered caused him or her harm, that customer could file a lawsuit against you. The completed operations portion of your commercial general liability insurance policy will protect you from these claims, offering coverage for legal defense and any compensation that you may be required to pay.
DC Strip Malls And Shopping Centers Risks & Exposures
Property exposure is moderate as occupancy generally includes one or more fast food or restaurant occupants. A complete list of tenants is necessary to accurately determine exposures. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. If there are restaurants, grease and oil from any deep-fat frying operations could cause a fire that affects other tenants or the entire building. The building owner must be aware of the electrical demands of tenants and supply them according to code. Conversions and upgrades should be handled with appropriate permits.
Each unit may have a separate heating system, or there may be a boiler to provide heat to all units. All systems must be properly maintained on an ongoing basis. While some tenant turnover is expected, a high percentage of vacancies can indicate a financial problem. Other property concerns are the age, condition, and repair of the building, the size, and configuration of the building including the roof expansion, and the condition and structure of the roof.
If the building has any unique architecture or design, valuation may be a concern. Because of their size and the number of customers on premises, large shopping centers may be targeted for terrorism. Appropriate security should be provided. Business income exposure could be high as tenants may be unable to access the building and backup facilities may not be available.
Premises liability exposure is very high due to the number of visitors to the premises. Special events may pose additional concerns due to crowds. The owner may be responsible for maintaining the building, parking lots, and sidewalks, or they may transfer these responsibilities by contract to a primary tenant. Tenants are normally responsible for the condition of the area that they control.
To prevent slips, trips, and falls, all premises must be well maintained with aisle ways free of debris, flooring in good condition, no frayed or worn spots on carpet, and no cracks or holes in flooring. 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, parking garages, and sidewalks need to be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slip and fall. If the owner is responsible for maintenance, there should be an activity log to document the owner's response to tenants' needs.
Security of visitors through the shopping center, including the parking lot, is a responsibility of the owner or operator of the premises. There should be frequent security patrols. Should an emergency situation arise, there should be evacuation plans in place to quickly move tenants and visitors to a safe area. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged false arrest, wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, or discrimination.
Contractual relationships should be reviewed, and certificates of insurance obtained from tenants, vendors, and subcontractors. Additional insured status should be considered. If security personnel are employed, procedures must be established as to appropriate response to their assigned duties. Additional exposure is presented if the security personnel carry firearms.
Workers compensation exposure is normally service, janitorial, or maintenance-related. Back injuries, 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 visitors can be difficult. Employees should be trained in dealing with difficult situations. If security officers are employed, they should be well trained for the duties assigned and appropriately supervised. If firearms are carried, the employee must meet all licensing and training requirements.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. Receipts must be provided for all payments, and reconciliation between receipts and money received. Deposits should be made promptly with appropriate security provided. All orders and disbursements must be handled by separate individuals.
Access to units 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.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivables for rents due, computers, signs, and valuable papers and records for leases, mortgages, and tenants' information. Duplicates of all data must be kept off premises for easy replication in the event of a loss. Signs may be subject to wind, vehicle damage and collapse from the weight of ice and snow. Contractors' equipment may be needed if maintenance of yard and buildings is handled internally. Some building owners may display fine arts in the common areas.
Automobile exposure is generally limited to hired and non-owned (HNOA) for employees running errands. If there are owned vehicles, such as those used for servicing or security patrols provided by the building owner, any driver must have a valid license and acceptable MVR. Routine maintenance on owned vehicles should be documented.
Commercial Property Insurance For Strip Mall & Shopping Center Owners
Next to commercial general liability insurance, property insurance is the most important coverage for DC strip mall and shopping center owners. This type of coverage protects the property, including the buildings on it, the signage, the landscaping, the sidewalks, the parking lots, and the garages.
If any of these elements of your property are damaged as a result of a fire, a weather-related incident, vandalism, or any other type of destruction, a DC commercial property insurance policy will provide you with the protection that you need. It covers the costs of repairing and replacing damaged property so that you don't have to pay for it out of your own pocket.
Insurance is absolutely vital for shopping center and mall owners. Speak to a experienced insurance broker to find out what type of insurance you need and how much coverage you require so that you can keep your investment - and yourself - protected.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
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.
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