Becoming a business owner is an amazing accomplishment. Whether you’ve always intended to be your own boss or have started a new endeavor, it’s important to be fully prepared for what is to come. Despite taking all the necessary precautions, businesses are often at risk of various losses that can severely impact their operations. An essential aspect of protecting your business’s assets and property is getting the right commercial property insurance.
Commercial property insurance covers damage or loss to a business’s property due to various risks such as fire, theft, and natural disasters. By understanding these risks and having the right insurance coverage in place, business owners can safeguard their operations and minimize the financial impact of unexpected losses.
5 Common Commerical Insurance Claims
Vandalism and Theft
Theft and vandalism are the most common types of commercial property claims. This can include stolen equipment, broken windows, and graffiti. Roughly 20% of commercial insurance claims are related to vandalism and theft. Despite being incredibly common, these claims tend to be relatively low, amounting to an average of $8,000.
The time-consuming aspect of these claims is figuring out what needs to be documented in order to get a full recovery of lost items. (Read below to see how a public adjuster can help you file your insurance claim).
For many insurance-related claims, there is no foolproof way to 100% prevent accidents or damages from happening to your commercial property. But there are ways you can help reduce these instances from occurring. For vandalism and theft, it would be in the business owner’s best interest to invest in high-quality security systems like alarms, key-entry locks, and surveillance cameras. Also having well-lit areas in and around the property can deter thieves.
Fire claims are often some of the most expensive claims for businesses. Roughly 10% of commercial insurance claims are related to fire damage. Damage can occur due to various reasons such as electrical issues, arson, or kitchen fires. The average cost for a fire claim is $35,000. Typical commercial insurance covers the repairs for fire-related damage.
In order to help reduce fire hazards, businesses should regularly inspect their property to make sure it is up to code. Maintaining fire extinguishers, installing automatic fire sprinklers, and regularly checking fire detectors can help minimize damage. Furthermore, practicing fire safety drills and an emergency exit plan with employees can help ensure everyone knows how to safely operate during a fire emergency.
When referring to weather damage, the most common and insurable damage would be from wind, ice, and hail. Natural Disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes are also insurable but require very specific coverage depending on where you live. Wind, ice, and hail can cause significant damage to commercial properties and account for approximately 15% of commercial property claims.
When it comes to prepping for storm or wind damage, business owners should be knowledgeable about the weather patterns in their area. If your location experiences a lot of snow and icy conditions throughout the year, it’s important to prep your infrastructure with solid windows and necessary winter accessories like shovels and salt.
Water and Freezing Damage
Another frequent claim, accounting for approximately 15% of commercial property claims is water damage. Water damage can occur due to flooding, leaking pipes, or a faulty sprinkler system. It can cause significant damage to the property and may require extensive repairs. Although general commercial property insurance covers water damage, it is important to note that flood coverage may be a completely different policy.
Having a regular routine to inspect plumbing and monitor freezing pipes is a great way to spot issues before they become insurance claims. You can also check out water detection devices that will notify you of potential leaks.
Customer Injury Liability Claims
Liability claims can arise from injuries or property damage caused by a business’s operations. This can include slip and fall accidents, product liability claims, and property damage caused by a business’s employees or products. Customer injury claims are hard to prevent and equally hard to fight. The yellow “wet floor” signs you see in stores are liability waivers for this very reason. On average, these claims can be around $20,000.
Businesses can prevent these claims by ensuring they clean up wet floors, adding mats, securing loose rugs, and treating uneven flooring. The more clutter you can get rid of, the less likely an injury will occur. It would also be smart to invest in high-quality cameras to prevent fraudulent claims. Out of all the types of commercial property claims, you must have a high coverage amount for customer injury claims, especially if you run a business with frequent customers.
How A Public Adjuster Can Help
When a commercial property owner experiences a loss or damage, filing an insurance claim can be a daunting and complicated process. The insurance company may only sometimes offer a fair settlement, and the property owner may need more expertise to understand their policy and negotiate with the insurer. This is where Fortitude Public Adjusters can come in handy.
Did you know individuals who work with a public adjuster typically receive 2-3 times the money they would normally get if they handled the claims themselves? Here at Fortitude, we are dedicated to helping our clients through the entire claims process. Our licensed professionals will work on your behalf to assess the damage, document the process, estimate the cost of repairs/replacements, and negotiate a fair settlement. You deserve the maximum settlement possible, that is why we are here to help. Contact Fortitude Public Adjusters today!