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Commercial Property Insurers 

Commercial Property Insurance plays a vital role in the risk management strategy of property owners. The right insurance policy can be the difference between rebuilding your property while maintaining loan repayments and having to cash settle with the bank and walking away with a significant loss.

Commercial Property insurance doesn’t have to be complicated! However, there are a number of clauses and exclusions within policy documents that you need to be aware of as they can greatly affect claim payments.

Below is a summary of some of the specific risks you can insure against and also a few tips to keep in mind when setting up your policy.


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Property Damage

Generally the cornerstone of your insurance policy, this section insures your building, fixtures and fittings against defined threats such as fire, storm, and accidental damage.

Tips:

  • Make sure your commercial property is insured for full replacement value. All insurance policies include an under-insurance clause which allows insurers to limit claim payments if your building is not insured for full replacement value.

  • Find a policy that has full accidental damage cover. It provides much broader coverage and can make a significant difference at claim time.

  • The construction of your building is one of the main factors that effect price, so make sure it’s disclosed correctly. Be mindful of any EPS or asbestos materials.

  • Your tenants do impact the risk rating of your property, so ensure all tenants are listed correctly and notify your insurance broker if they change during the year. 

  • Make sure you factor in an appropriate level of cover for removal of debris. The cost to clear a site before rebuilding comes out of the building sum insured so if not included, could lead to the under-insurance clause being triggered. Also keep in mind the extra expense for removing asbestos material.

  • Notify your insurer straight away if your property is vacant. Most policies exclude cover if your property has been vacant for over 60 days. 


Business Interruption / Loss of Rent

Covers lost rental income if your are unable to lease your commercial property due to an insured event such as a fire, storm, impact or accidental damage.  This insurance is vital for commercial property owners as it enables you to continue to meet fixed expenses, such as loan repayments, in the event your property can’t be leased.
 

Tips:

  • An under-insurance clause applies to this section, so make sure you’re covered for your full rental amount. 

  • Having some cover is better than none at all! You can adjust the indemnity period (the duration of the income stream) to help reduce costs.

  • Excludes loss of rental income due to tenant default.


Rent Default

Rent default is a unique cover in the commercial property space, offered exclusively by one insurer. This cover will pay your lost rent in the event your tenant:

  • leaves the property before the end of your lease agreement,

  • is legally evicted, or

  • stops paying rent.

This cover can also assist with legal expenses incurred by you to evict the tenant or recover any monies owed to you. 
 

Tips:

  • This option is new to the market and only provided by one insurer. There are a number of factors you need to be aware of when taking out this insurance, so it’s best to call us for a chat.

Property Owners Liability

While your tenants will have liability insurance for their business, as the property owner you are also required to have liability insurance for the property. This protects you against claims for third party personal injury or property damage for which you as a property owner are responsible. The most common claims we see against property owners relate to maintenance of the property and injury caused in common areas.


Glass

Covers accidental or malicious damage to external glass at your property, including damage to sign-writing, advertisements or film on the glass.  
 

Tips:

  • This section will also include an additional benefit for damage to signs. If you have signs on or around your building, this option is important because damage to signage is  excluded from the Property Damage section. 

Machinery Breakdown

Pays for the repair or replacement of machinery that has broken down. For commercial property owners, the most common items we see in this section are air conditioners and other machinery you may provide as part of the lease agreement.

Tips:

  • You must ensure that all maintenance / servicing agreements are upheld or insurers may decline your claim. 

  • General wear and tear is not classified as break down.

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