Opening a business likely means investing in a commercial property. The property may include buildings, storage areas, and other structures that help you operate.
Once you take possession of this property, you have a responsibility to keep it safe. Proper safety includes obtaining the correct property insurance. Furthermore, you also have an obligation to see to the property’s upkeep. Careful oversight will help you keep risks that threaten the property at a minimum.
Before you get property insurance, take note of what type of insurance you need. By working with your insurance agent, you can craft a policy that meets your requirements.
Consider the Ownership of Your Property
Opening a business may not mean that you have ownership of your property. You might own your entire building’s structure. Or, you might rent the building you occupy. Another scenario is that you own a storefront in a multi-occupant building. Businesses have a great variety of choices about what type of property they need.
Depending on the property, you have to adjust your business insurance appropriately. A building’s owner faces different risks than a business owner who rents a building. Therefore, make sure you understand your ownership before you get insurance. Tell your agent who owns the building, and the amount of financial investment in the space.
Do You Have Insurance Requirements?
In many cases, building owners have to carry certain property insurance. If you take out a loan to buy property, your lender may require insurance to protect their investment. If you rent a space, you often have to carry renters insurance to protect the risks you pose to the space, and to the actual owner’s risks.
If you have to carry insurance, make sure you know the coverage levels required of you.
Inspect the Building for Risks
Before and after you move into your business property, you have to keep the space safe. Neglecting the safety and maintenance of the property increases risks. In the event that you lose the property from a hazard, neglect could mean your insurance company can’t determine blame for the damage. They might deem it your fault, and therefore refuse your claim.
Inspect your property, either on your own or with the help of an inspector. Doing so could help you catch small problems that could lead to bigger damages down the road. You can also make improvements to make the building compliant with local codes.
Furthermore, always keep an eye on your property during the course of business. If you catch wind of small problems, take steps to isolate and repair them immediately.
Sweet & Baker is here to help you get a policy that suits your San Francisco commercial property insurance needs. Call us at (415) 512-2100 for more information.