Even though e-commerce businesses sell their wares online, they often still need at least some commercial property insurance. If you’re starting up or already have an e-commerce business, here’s why you may want to talk with a Massachusetts insurance agent about getting business property insurance for your
Just because a business sells goods online doesn’t necessarily mean the business doesn’t have any buildings. Many e-commerce businesses have warehouses where products are sold or facilities where they’re created, and some even have physical storefronts in addition to their online presence.
If your business has any physical buildings or land in Massachusetts, the best way to insure those assets is likely with commercial property insurance. A commercial property policy, depending on its terms and conditions, can help protect these assets from perils such as fire, theft and vandalism. (Exact coverages vary.)
Even if your business doesn’t have any freestanding buildings, you may still need a commercial property policy if you have a home office. Some homeowners insurance policies include coverage for a home office, but others don’t. If yours doesn’t, a commercial property policy might offer the coverages you need for your home office.
Most business property insurance policies also include coverage for contents, which frequently includes certain equipment that a business owns. A business property policy’s standard contents coverage might not provide adequate protection for a heavy piece of equipment, like a backhoe, but it often will help protect a lot of the equipment that an e-commerce business uses. For example, you might be able to get contents coverage for the following items:
Computers, scanners, printers, and cameras
Scales, heat sealers, and vacuum packaging machines
Specialty equipment (e.g. sewing machines, coffee grinders or tea bag machines)
Window air conditioners and space heaters
(The coverages for some specific items, such as electronics, may be limited. To make sure your business’ equipment is properly insured, you should always read the contents coverage portion of your business property policy carefully.)
Similar to the issues that arise when a room is dedicated as a home office, you might need business property insurance for these items if they’re used for both personal and business uses. For, the personal property coverage that homeowners, condo, or renters insurance affords frequently only extends to items that are used for personal use.
Business property insurance policies’ contents coverage often also covers inventory that a business has. This may include both supplies and products.
Unless your business provides services or sells only digital items, it likely has at least some physical supplies and products to insure. Without a business property policy, you’d likely not be able to recoup any losses your business sustained if inventory were destroyed or stolen. With proper coverage you’d probably be reimbursed for any covered losses (less your policy’s deductible and up to its limits).
For help making sure your Massachusett e-commerce business has all the insurance it needs, contact an independent insurance agent who specializes in commercial insurance products. Such an agent will be able to help your business get all the insurance it needs, including any commercial property insurance coverages that are appropriate. Even if you think your business isn’t at risk or is properly protected already, consider giving an independent agent a call. There’s usually no obligation, and their insights could end up saving your business from a major loss.