In the latest statistics published by the British Property Foundation (BPF), their property data report for 2016 reveals that the value of all commercial property in the UK achieved a record high of £871 billion – a figure that represents 10% of the nation’s total wealth.
Commercial property is therefore highly valuable – but is also extremely diverse. Its range includes all those premises in which people shop, work and take their leisure, including, therefore:
- all manner of retail outlets, including shops, restaurants, takeaways, and pubs;
- offices, workshops and factories in which people work;
- warehouses in which goods and products are stored, ready for processing or awaiting distribution;
- gyms and leisure centres, hotels, cinemas, petrol stations and even carparks.
Across this whole range of disparate buildings and businesses, however, they all share one thing in common and that is the need for the appropriate level and scope of insurance to protect the premises themselves and the activities taking place within them.
The range of commercial property insurance packages is as varied as the premises themselves and it is clearly important that you secure the cover that is appropriate to the commercial property you own (or, indeed, occupy as a tenant). We are here at Specialist4Property to help ensure that this is just the insurance you arrange.
Commercial property insurance
In addition to the huge range of different commercial property types and businesses, there is a further consideration to take into account when arranging the insurance for the premises you occupy – and that is whether you own them for use by your own business or let them out to tenants.
If you own the building, you need to insure its structure and fabric against the usual major risks such as fire, flooding, storm damage, lightning strikes, vandalism and theft – and any tenants are likely to expect you to take care of this.
If the building is occupied by another business leasing the premises from you, it still needs the same cover, although you may need to pay a higher premium as the landlord, points out the website for business startups, Start Up Donut.
Whether you are running your own business from the commercial property or leasing it from a landlord, however, you are almost certain to need your own contents insurance to safeguard the equipment, plant, machinery, fittings, goods, office supplies and other items likely to be there.
As the owner of the commercial property, you also have a duty of care to ensure that any visitor, supplier, neighbour or member of the public suffers no injury or does not have their own property damaged in any way connected with your premises. If they do, you may be held negligent and sued for substantial compensation.
For that reason, your commercial property insurance is likely to include public liability or property owner’s indemnity – generally for a minimum of £1 million.
Finally, business disruption insurance may also be a consideration – whether you are operating your own business or leasing the property to another enterprise, a major insured event might leave the premises temporarily unusable. In that event, the insurance you arranged for your commercial property may offer compensation for loss of use or business disruption, either by providing alternative premises or a cash settlement up to a given maximum.