If you are a commercial property owner or landlord, one of the key areas you will have to consider is your insurance. If you are over-insured, then you’re probably paying too much for your premium, and if you don’t have enough cover, then chances are that any settlement won’t cover the cost of reinstatement.
Here Maunder Taylor, who provide business insurance valuations for properties in Barnet, other areas of North London and Hertfordshire, look at some of the key factors that influence the cost of commercial policies.
Location, Location, Location
This is just as true for commercial properties as it is for residential ones. Therefore, if a property is located in an area of high crime, you will likely to have to pay a higher premium or invest in good security measures. The same applies if it’s on a flood plain or more exposed to the elements because insurers will view the property as a bigger risk.
In the same way that a smaller house such as a two-bed semi-detached can usually be insured for less than a five-bedroomed mansion, the same applies to commercial properties.
However, this isn’t a simple cut and dried rule. For example, a large (empty) warehouse should cost less to insure per square foot than a high-end office suite full of the latest high-tech equipment.
…And So Does Age
Older business premises are more likely to deteriorate physically and cost more to repair than newer buildings. Similarly, with equipment, older machinery is also more likely to break or cease functioning and to cost more to repair or replace.
The Nature of the Business
Office-based businesses pose a lower risk than manufacturing plants, because they have fewer machines with moving parts which could cause internal damage. Equally, restaurants are considered more hazardous than shops because of a greater risk of fire and accidents relating to heat sources and food and drink spillages.
Your Previous History
Just as with other types of insurance like car insurance and no claims bonuses, insurers will look at your previous claims history. So if you have made claims before, you may be penalised for this, although this may be related to a specific section of your policy such as machinery breakdowns or accidents.
Any Associated Clauses
With residential property insurance, you have just two main areas to think about – buildings and contents. However, with commercial premises there are a lot of other, more sector specific areas, which should be considered that are not all directly property-related.
For instance, if you occupy as well as own the premises, then you have to think about clauses such as public liability insurance (in case of accidents involving visitors/members of the public) and employers’ liability insurance (to cover your staff). Also, directors’ and officers’ liability in case of legal action against the company owners.
The more clauses you have, the higher the price, but the better your protection will be.
Business Insurance Valuations from Maunder Taylor
Our dedicated insurance department has been running for almost 30 years. If your business insurance is coming up for renewal, then we can carry out a valuation of your premises, and ensure it has the right amount of cover by acting as an intermediary and approaching insurers on your behalf.
Cover we can advise on includes liability insurance (public, employers’ and officers and directors’), as well as other property specific cover. We also offer other services, including commercial property management, and a range of premises that are available to let or buy, across Hertfordshire and North London.
If you would like to know more about our insurance services, click here or call us either at our Whetstone office on 020 8446 0011 or Potters Bar office on 01707 665 666 if you have any residential block management queries.