Go through your insurance policy
with a fine-toothed comb to
ensure you're insured no matter
protect you in
times of crisis?
Shelly Toyota reveals why
paying attention to the details
of your commercial property
insurance is vital
WHILE MOST STORE OWNERS have dotted
the “i’s” and crossed the “t’s” on their business plans, many otherwise astute and
detail-oriented retailers pay little or no
mind to the fine print of their commercial
In its most basic form, commercial
property insurance covers your premises
and the contents of your store regardless
if you own the property. (For home-based
businesses, a separate commercial policy
is recommended to cover work-related
items which may not be covered under
your home policy.)
Then, there are losses from burglary,
robbery and theft, which fall under the
“crime” category, and a fidelity bond which
covers employee theft.
Are you covered from the losses that
occur when, for example, a power surge
wipes clean your computer data? This type
of coverage is called business-interruption
insurance, which often goes hand in hand
with equipment-breakdown insurance.
In the event of a glitch that renders your
web site’s online order-processing function
ineffective, your insurance policy can let you
replace or repair your assets where required.
A good insurance policy can also protect
against the expenses you incur if you have
to close the store for a period of time.
When it comes to coverage amounts
and premiums, they vary greatly depending on the size and type of your business,
but there are a few things you can do to
lower premiums. Higher deductibles translate into lower premiums. Review the cost
of your policy at different deductible levels,
such as $2000, $2500 and $5000.
Many insurers will offer discounts for
risk mitigation measures you take, such as
installing a centrally monitored fire alarm,
sprinkler system and burglary alarm.
Overall good maintenance of your property and contents will also help secure the
best terms possible.
In extreme cases, a business located in a
high-crime area may feel the impact on the
overall rating of the risk to insuring them.
Commercial property insurance isn’t cut
and dried. It’s important to review your
policy and add, if needed, these types of coverage options: business interruption, equipment-breakdown, crime, fidelity bond,
property casualty and property-in-transit.
Shelley Toyota has worked in the Canadian
insurance industry for more than 27 years. She’s
currently the director of small business insurance
at RSA Canada.