Commercial Property Insurance

As a business owner, it’s likely that your premises are one of your most valuable assets. That’s why we’ve developed a series of commercial property insurance products to help protect your place of business should disaster strike. If you operate your business from home, you may be unaware that a different type of insurance is required. Our home business insurance can cover damage to office equipment, and we can also access policies suitable for B&B owners.

Commercial Property Insurance FAQs

Question

What is commercial property insurance?

Answer

Commercial property insurance, also known as commercial landlord insurance, is designed to offer specialist protection for landlords letting out buildings to third parties for commercial use.

Some businesses own and occupy their buildings. In these circumstances we can provide a standalone buildings insurance policy to protect you for loss or damage claims due to fire and a range of specified insurance perils such as storm, flood, impact, escape of water, malicious damage, explosion, accidental damage and subsidence.

Alternatively, we can include your buildings insurance under a Commercial Combined policy along with loss or damage to your other property such as computers, machinery, plant, fixtures and fittings, all other contents and stock. The policy is flexible and can additionally include loss of income (business interruption insurance), Money, property owners, public and employers’ liability. A great solution for a business as it’s a combination of separate policy types, all arranged together under a single policy with one renewal date and an annual premium.

Question

Do I need commercial property insurance?

Answer

This depends if you are the owner or a tenant. Commercial building insurance is not a legal necessity but without it you will have to pay for any damage the property suffers due to fire storm or flood. You will also be liable for any third-party compensation claims related to property damage or injury through negligence. Tenants need to ensure they have appropriate cover, and also check their lease agreement for any mandatory insurance requirements.

If you employ any staff, it is a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance. This can be added to your policy.

Question

Can you cover annual rental income and for how long?

Answer

In the event of a severe fire loss (or other insured peril) your property would not be fit for occupation, and you may suffer a loss of rental income until the property has been fully repaired. The length of time it will take to repair your building will vary from customer to customer.

All buildings are different - and you must take into account the location, age, type and construction of the property. Specialist properties, grade 1 and 2, can take longer to build due to the building materials and specialist building skills required. It is best to be cautious and consider a minimum of 24 months or longer, as there is always the chance of unexpected and unforeseen difficulties causing delay.

Question

Can you cover unoccupied properties?

Answer

Yes. we are able to cover properties that become unoccupied for up to 30 days on a standard package for fire, lightning, explosion and aircraft. This period may be extended with full details and referral to insurers.
We can arrange cover for properties that are unoccupied for periods longer than 30 days with some of our specialist insurers.

Question

Can you cover me for buildings insurance if the building I'm looking to insure is listed?

Answer

Yes, we are able to offer cover for Grade 1 and 2 listed buildings in England and Wales and the equivalent categories in Scotland. Contact us for full details.

Question

There’s a flat above my property, is it insured on my policy?

Answer

It depends; if buildings cover is included under your policy, then the structure of the building as a whole would be insured including the structure of the flat. With buildings cover this would include property owner’s liability, so slips and trips related to the building as a whole can be covered. It is down to the tenant of the flat above to arrange cover for their own home contents.

Question

What happens if I sell my building and the insurance is no longer required?

Answer

The premiums are generally refunded on a pro-rata basis. Therefore, if you have paid in full for the year then you would be entitled to a return of premium (minus commission and fee). Likewise, if you are paying by direct debit there will either be an outstanding balance to pay or a return due back to you, depending on where your payments fall in the month. Most insurers are unlikely to allow a refund where a claim(s) have been made in the current year.

Question

How can I correctly value my buildings?

Answer

Your buildings sum insured should represent the current rebuilding value of the property following a total loss, including labour and material and the costs of debris removal, architects' and surveyors fees and other professional costs.

You can contact the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) for independent professional advice. As the costs of labour and materials can change we recommend you have a professional rebuild valuation survey conducted regularly – at least every three years.

Question

Is there a cooling off period?

Answer

Commercial insurance works slightly differently to an individual’s personal insurance policy. Please be aware there is not a cooling off period in commercial insurance. Any cancellation rights will be detailed in the Cancellation condition of the policy.

Question

Are you able to email me my documents?

Answer

Yes, we give our clients the option of receiving documents by email and/or post. Just let us know when you set up your policy or call us at any time and we will email them to you.

Question

Who are the insurers?

Answer

This depends on the policy you have chosen. We act as insurance brokers and have access to a panel of carefully selected insurers and specialist schemes. You may receive quotes from a few different insurers depending on the cover you request as we will seek policies from our panel of insurers. The name of your insurers will be stated in your quotation documents together with the names of those approached.

Question

How long does it take to get a commercial property cover quotation?

Answer

It varies dependant on each individual risk. On average we can provide a quotation within 20 minutes. For more specialist insurance we generally ask for a couple of hours so that we can go out to the market and find you a range of competitive quotes to choose from.

Question

How can I pay?

Answer

You can pay in full or by direct debit. Payment in full can be done via BACS transfer or debit or credit card. All major cards are accepted except American Express.

Question

Can I pay in instalments?

Answer

To help you spread the cost of your premiums, we offer a quick and easy direct debit scheme for spreading payment over ten months. Please visit our dedicated Direct Debit page to find out more.

Question

Where can I find more information about monthly Direct Debit?

Answer

If you would like to know more about our monthly payment option, please visit our dedicated Direct Debit page.