Businesses in Massachusetts that own commercial property have made significant investments in their property. Those investments ought to be protected, which is precisely what commercial property insurance is designed to do.
Commercial property insurance policies are similar to homeowners insurance policies, except commercial property policies are uniquely designed to meet the insurance needs of businesses rather than homeowners. Most policies will protect property that a business owns from a variety of covered perils.
Just as homeowners policies have multiple coverages, business property insurance policies frequently do too. In many cases, some of the main coverages that business property policies offer are similar to those found in homeowners policies. For example, a business property policy might provide:
These are just some of the protections that are commonly available through business property policies.
There is one important distinction in the protections provided by homeowners and business property policies. While most homeowners policies include some measure of personal liability protection, business property policies normally don’t. Because businesses face such diverse liability risks, liability protections are usually provided through separate, specialized liability policies.
Many Massachusetts businesses can benefit from having business property insurance.
Businesses that own buildings usually get this type of insurance, and they’re sometimes even required to carry a policy by the terms of their building loan. Businesses that don’t own a building may not need as much property coverage, but they might still have inventory, equipment or supplies that a business property policy can help protect.
For a few select businesses that don’t have much physical property, such as writers or professional a cappella groups, it might not be necessary to carry business property insurance. Most businesses, however, have property they can’t afford to lose and should insure.
The exact perils that a particular business property policy protects against can vary, and they’ll be determined by the policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions. Nevertheless, there are some common perils that most policies provide protection against. For instance, many policies may cover:
Policies, depending on their terms, conditions and exclusions, may cover many other perils. Some policies offer sewer and drainage backup coverage, some offer coverage for damage caused by employees, and some have still other protections.
The majority of business property policies don’t offer coverage for floods. Business that want to insure property against flooding typically have to purchase a separate flood policy. Depending on where a business’ property is located, the business might be able to get coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program or the private marketplace.
Similarly, most business property policies also don’t provide coverage for earthquakes. Businesses that want to insure their property against the danger of earthquakes usually have to purchase a separate, earth-quake specific policy through the private marketplace.
For help finding commercial property insurance, businesses should contact an independent insurance agent who specializes in commercial insurance. An independent agent will be able to request commercial property quotes from insurers in Massachusetts. Once several quotes are gathered, the agent can also help businesses compare the different quotes and choose the one that provides the most robust protection.