You can protect the assets of your business, including your equipment and the building or buildings in which you operate, by having property insurance. This insurance covers your property in the event of theft or damage caused by fire, explosions, accidents, or acts of nature. Additional office equipment can be protected by having contents insurance. If you’re running a business from your home, you should also have such protection to cover your work-related equipment, which may not be covered under a standard homeowner’s policy.
The amount of stock or equipment you maintain for your business operations will determine how much coverage you’ll need to purchase. By taking a detailed inventory of all property, equipment, and stock, you can determine the amount of coverage you’ll need. Include real estate such as buildings or garages you own.
It’s important to take your time in assessing and determining a value for your property. You’ll want to receive a fair amount of compensation for any goods lost or destroyed. Keep in mind that the higher the dollar amount of coverage, the higher the insurance premium will be. Therefore, you may elect not to cover certain items that may not be worth the cost of coverage.
Additional Property Coverage
There are other coverage areas you may choose to inquire about when shopping for property insurance. Depending on the insurer, some of these will be included, and others may be purchased at an added cost:
Undamaged stock protection, which covers undamaged items that can no longer be marketed because of damage to related goods. Data or records protection, which covers loss of data or company records that were destroyed, and will take time, and cost money, to reproduce. Computer virus protection, which covers the loss of data and business through computer viruses. Off-premises property protection, which extends your property coverage to include protection at other locations such as trade shows, fairs, installations, exhibits, or any place where your company is doing business with company-owned equipment. Intangible coverage, which includes patents, copyrights, and trademarks.
Property insurance is sometimes offered by specific risks. For example, you may purchase fire and theft insurance. Other companies will offer broad-based policies that cover a variety of risks and potential hazards. The type of business you run, your physical location, and the region in which you are doing business should all be factored into determining which risks are more likely to occur and potentially destroy your property, and subsequently hurt or destroy your business.
How well you’re protecting your business against such potential risks can determine how much you will pay for property insurance. For example, if you have excellent security measures in place, working sprinklers, and adhere strictly to fire and building codes, you will pay less for fire and theft insurance.
Property and liability coverage can be purchased together under a general business owner’s policy. However, the coverage is usually not as great as if you purchase them separately. Again, this will depend on your specific needs.