Guide to Commercial Property Insurance in Australia
Disasters can strike at any time, leaving commercial buildings destroyed with little or no warning. Within a matter of minutes, the business property you’ve worked diligently to call your own could become damaged beyond repair. Heavy winds from storms or sudden fires could cause severe damage to your office building, expensive equipment, and supplies. Your business could also endure a significant financial loss as you take time to rebuild.
Commercial property insurance, also referred to as business property or commercial building insurance offers coverage that protects businesses from the damage or loss of their essential business equipment, as well as the commercial building itself. This coverage helps protect the company from significant loss due to a sudden disaster, fire, or theft.*
Reasons to Have a Commercial Property Insurance Policy*
The purpose of commercial property insurance is to cover the loss or damage to buildings, property and contents..
Here are a few of the most important reasons why business owners take out a commercial property insurance policy for their company.Coverage for your Commercial Building and Contents
If your business property or the contents inside are either damaged or lost, this insurance coverage can help pay for the repair or replacement of these assets.Peace of Mind
When you know the commercial building and equipment you rely on are protected from sudden damage, accidents, or theft, you have peace of mind in knowing that your company will not endure a significant loss whenever a disaster strikes.Specific Coverage for Business Property
For sole traders who run their business from home commercial property insurance policy offers specific coverage that you may not receive from a traditional home insurance policy.
What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?*
While all insurance companies may not provide the same coverage options, many providers will include the following.
- The loss of damage to your property at your business location
- Loss of or damages to any contents inside the commercial building; including fixtures and fittings
- Damage due to the impact caused by falling trees, falling buildings fragments, nearby construction or watercraft.
- Water damage# (in some circumstances )
- Any accidental damage to the property.
- Machinery breakdown can typically be requested to be covered as an additional option , including cover for the breakdown of industrial machinery and office equipment.
While standard commercial property insurance covers damage to buildings, contents (and when included, stock) caused by fire perils and accidental damage, it does NOT include loss of income via business interruption.
Many businesses also take out Business Interruption Insurance to protect against lost income or take out protection via a tailored Business Insurance Pack, biz pack”, which can include property, stock, business interruption, theft & money, public and product liability, glass etc.
#Important : water damage may or may not be covered. Please check your policy schedule carefully. A SMART business insurance broker may be able to assist you get the specific coverage inclusions you are after.
Is Theft Covered Under Commercial Property Insurance?*
You can typically select to cover theft under commercial property insurance “biz pack” coverage. Generally, insurance companies will pay for loss or damage due to the contents of the building and company inventory due to theft, attempted theft, armed hold-up, vandalism, or assault. Many commercial property insurance policies will also allow you to cover damage to glass or signs on the premises, which often occurs during a break-in.
Events, where a commercial building and the contents inside may be covered, include:
- Storm, wind, and rain which can consist of snow, sleet or hail
- Wind or water
- Goods damaged in transit
How Much Commercial Property Insurance Do I Need?*
When trying to decide how much coverage you need for your business location and specialisation , keep in mind that this type of policy is designed to take your company back to the same financial state it was in previously before the damages occurred.
That means being able to rebuild and replace the buildings and contents at today's prices quickly – this is called the Replacement Cost of your commercial property.
Recent OH&S legislation requires that new plant fixtures and equipment need to be taken into account.
If you require a high degree of customisation for your business occupation and specialisation this will typically mean greater replacement costs.
It is important to note when providing insurance brokers with information on insured values that premium savings for only partially insured commercial & business property won't make a great contribution to covering any shortfalls if you are underinsured.
A commercial property insurance policy can help keep your business afloat when the unexpected occurs. This type of policy provides peace of mind to business owners because they know they will not suffer a massive loss in the event of a disastrous storm, fire, or vandalism.
When taking out a business policy for the first time, understand that exclusions apply to some policies. And coverage can vary significantly from one company to the next. Therefore, it is a good idea to consult with an insurance broker before you make a final decision on your company’s new insurance policy.
To learn more about commercial property insurance, contact our friendly insurance brokers today to get started. Our licensed professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.
1300 542 573
TALK to a SMART Business Insurance adviser
Monday – Friday 8.45 am - 6.00 pm AESTGET a SMART Quote
What factors influence the cost of commercial property insurance?
Commercial property insurance rates are influenced by a number of key factors including the following :
- Size: it makes sense that ; if everything else is equal , the larger the factory, retail space or office space the greater the insurance premium.
- Location: In Australia it is well documented that far North Queensland commercial properties face significant natural hazards and are relatively expensive to insure when cover is offered. Any location in Australia where commercial properties have been subject to a high level of claims are relatively expensive to cover.
- Claim rates and claim size: Does the business that occupies your commercial property operate in an industry where flammable or dangerous materials are used ? Is there are a high level of theft for your materials or finished goods? Is your commercial property located in a town or suburb where crime rates are high ? Claim rates, and the cost of typical claims for similar properties and/or occupiers will impact the cost of your commercial property insurance.
- Security: What type of security measures do you have in place in your commercial property ? CCTV, Monitored Alarm, Patrols, Deadlocks; Reinforced entry points. The greater the security measures in place at your commercial property the better, to obtain cover at an affordable cost.
- Age of commercial property: How old is your commercial property ? If everything else is equal , typically the newer the commercial space the more affordable the cost of the insurance premium. If your commercial property is older , has it been rewired?
Insurance companies are wary of electrical wiring in older commercial properties, which may translate in difficulty to insure and higher costs for the property owner and occupier. A SMART business insurance broker may be able to help: 1300 542 573.
- Business equipment: What type of business equipment do you use? Expensive large scale plant and equipment or custom built high tech equipment can be expensive and hard to replace. This will increase the cost of commercial property insurance.
Old heavy equipment may also be expensive to insure.
Conversely if your business operates from a few computers the cost of your cover may be relatively low.
- Fitout: How much would it cost and how difficult would it be replicate your fitout . The less expensive and easier the replacement the cost ; typically the more favourable the impact on your commercial property insurance cost.
- Stock: What is the value of your stock.? If you have little or no stock this will favourably impact the cost of commercial property insurance. The sums insured of stock will impact cost.
- Sprinklers: If your goods are flammable, and the value of your contents is considerable, sprinklers may assist you in obtaining suitable cover a reasonable price.
- Total sums insured: The total sums insured of buildings , stock, machinery, finished goods will impact on the cost of commercial property insurance.
There are many factors that influence the cost of commercial property insurance. Not sure how much cover you need? Call 1300 542 573 to talk to a friendly SMART business insurance broker who may be able to assist you in finding suitable cover at an affordable cost.
Commercial property insurance quotes for offices, factories, warehouses and shops
Whether your business property is a factory, warehouse or office building our team of SMART Business Insurance brokers can provide you with multiple quotes on suitable policies from leading insurance companies and underwriters.
For a considered responsive solution to your commercial & business property needs TALK to a SMART Business Insurance broker on 1300 542 573 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1300 542 573
TALK to a SMART Business Insurance adviser
Monday – Friday 8.45 am - 6.00 pm AESTGET a SMART Quote
What is the correct "Situation Address" to list on my business policy.?
The Situation Address must be the address of either the physical risk being covered (like a property) or, in the case of Liability policies, the physical address for the normal place (or places) of business.
If you have multiple business locations, e.g., a number of branches, shops, factories or depots, then ALL location addresses must be shown on the schedule and advised to the insurers. And the multiple location addresses then needs to be kept up to date with the insurers at all times, in the event of any changes.
Insurers will not accept a Post Office box as a "normal place of business", because you cannot do business from a PO Box.
A PO Box is fine for a mailing address, but cannot be used as the address of the "Situation" on any policy.
For example, Public Liability policies usually operate "at and from" an address, which should be the normal place of business for a business policy.
If the business was run from home, for example, then the home address would be shown as the normal place of business. The "at and from" nature of the cover would then cover any transitory business conducted away from the home address (or away from a real business address, as the case may be).
If the business was run from home but was selling through stands or kiosks at markets or shopping centres then that would have to be disclosed to the insurer, as it affects the risk.
The team at Smart Business Insurance tendered for our Corporate insurance cover including building, travel. They offered very competitive quotes and have continued to do so year after year. The staff are always efficient and friendly and I would not hesitate to recommend them. Well done Smart!
Kind regardsErwin Tan
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