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Types Of Commercial Property Policies
Commercial Property Coverages
Other Coverages To Consider

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance helps businesses, including farms and ranches, pay to repair or replace buildings, structures, and contents that are damaged, destroyed, or lost because of fires, storms, thefts, or other events outlined in the policy.

Business owners can buy commercial property insurance whether they own, rent, or lease a building. If you rent or lease a building, the building owner’s policy probably won’t cover the contents of the building that belong to you. You will need to buy your own policy to insure your on-premises property, including machinery, furniture, and merchandise. The cost of tenant coverage is usually significantly less than building coverage because the policy will only cover contents, not the building itself.

Commercial property policies provide either “replacement cost” coverage, “actual cash value” coverage, or a combination of both. Replacement cost coverage will pay to replace your property with new property of like kind and quality, up to the policy’s dollar limit. An actual cash value policy will pay the replacement cost of the property minus depreciation due to age and normal wear and tear. Although replacement cost coverage is more expensive than actual cash value coverage, it might better ensure that your business fully recovers after a significant loss.

Note: Typically, business owners can buy a single policy to cover businesses operating at multiple locations. However, you might need separate policies if some locations serve different functions and have different risk profiles. This could be the case, for example, if your business has an administrative office and a separate factory.

Types of Commercial Property Policies

Different types of commercial property policies protect against different risks, or “perils.” Some policies will cover only those risks specifically named in the policy. Other policies will cover all risks, unless the policy specifically excludes them. Be sure to read your policy carefully. You may need to buy additional coverages or specialized policies, such as flood, windstorm, or crime coverage, to fully protect your business.

Commercial property policies in Texas generally fall into one of three categories:

Most commercial property policies cover damage from windstorms, except in counties on the Texas coast. If your business is in one of Texas’ coastal counties, you’ll probably need a separate windstorm policy. (Refer to the section on windstorm coverage for more information.)

Commercial Property Coverages

In Texas, commercial property policies are not standardized. Insurers must comply with minimum requirements but have a great deal of flexibility to develop their own policies. As a result, coverages and policy terms may vary significantly by insurer and by policy.

Commercial multi-peril (CMP) policies combine multiple coverages, such as commercial property, liability, inland marine, and commercial auto, to ensure full protection within the convenience of a single policy. CMP policies typically have lower premiums than purchasing the coverages individually.

Business owner program (BOP) policies are a common type of commercial multi-peril policy primarily for small businesses. BOP policies combine property and liability coverage in one policy.

Commercial property policies provide various types of coverage, either as part of the base policy or through policy “endorsements.” Endorsements expand or amend a policy’s coverages and usually increase your premium. You can buy certain coverages as separate stand-alone policies.

Following are some typical commercial property coverages:

Other Coverages to Consider

Crime Coverage

You can buy several types of coverage to protect your business from crime. Common crime coverages include:

A policy may pay losses from crime on either a “loss sustained” or “discovery” basis. Loss sustained coverage pays for losses that occur during the policy period, while discovery coverage pays for losses that occur at any time. Both types of crime coverage require that losses be discovered during the policy period or extended reporting period.

Flood Insurance
Some insurers may include flood coverage in their commercial property policies for areas with a low flood risk. However, most flood insurance in the United States is available only through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Some insurer may provide flood coverage as excess over the NFIP coverage.

To qualify for NFIP coverage, your business must be located within an NFIP-participating community. These communities have adopted federal building and floodplain management programs to reduce the likelihood of flood damage. “Special Flood Hazard Areas” are areas within NFIP communities that are at high risk for flooding. NFIP requires all structures within these areas to have flood insurance.

Note: More than a quarter of all floods in the United States occur in areas designated as low-to-moderate risk. You should consider flood insurance even if your business is outside a hazard area.

You can buy flood insurance through licensed insurance agents. For a list of agents selling flood insurance in your area, call NFIP