Washington D.C. Vacant Property Insurance Policy Information
Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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.
Washington D.C. 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.
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 Washington D.C. vacant property insurance is an option for you.
What Does Unoccupied Commercial 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 DC 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 Washington D.C. 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 DC Vacant Building Policy?
Named Peril Coverage - This covers "perils" (things like fire, explosion, lightning, wind and hail) that are specifically named in your Washington D.C. 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 Washington D.C. 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 DC 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 DC 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.
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 Cost
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.
Exclusions On Vacant Property Insurance
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).
DC Vacant Property Insurance
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).
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
- Commercial Property Insurance Policy Coverage Forms
- Condo Association
- Contractors Equipment
- Duplex Rental Property
- Electronic Data Processing Equipment
- Equipment Breakdown Protection Insurance
- Homeowners Association Insurance
- Inland Marine
- Jewelers Block
- 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
- What Are Commercial Property Insurance Endorsements?
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.
Also find Washington D.C. insurance agents & brokers, DC local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Washington D.C. small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including District of Columbia business insurance costs. Call us (202) 800-5202.