Most of the time commercial property insurance involves four broad coverage types. These four broad coverage types are usually coverage for buildings, contents, loss of income, and extra expense. Buildings and structures usually means more than just a physical building. In most policies they can also mean things that are permanently attached to the buildings or additions to it. Usually outdoor fixtures are also included in the definition of building property. Typically almost anything that is permanent and attached to the building or affixed to the premises can be considered building property.
There is one category of items which are not permanent but can be lumped in to the building property coverage amount. Those items are things which have to do with the building’s repair or service such as materials and supplies. Also equipment that is use for construction additions or remodels and the items that are used in the process can be considered building property. Even though they are not yet permanent the intent is for these items to one day in the future are used for either repair or maintenance or remodeling of a permanent fixture.
Sometimes such things even as a golf cart that is used to service the premises can be considered under the building property coverage. From a pricing standpoint this is to your advantage to get as much if your property listed under building property coverage versus business personal property coverage. The rates and premiums per hundred dollars for building coverage are much less than the business personal property rates and premiums.
Typically most commercial insurance property policies require that those kinds of property are within 1,000 feet of the building and that you’re specifically insuring them as part of the building limit in order to get coverage. So such things as satellite dishes, towers, canopies, fences, retaining walls etc. can usually be considered as part of the building if it is within 1,000 feet of the building. There normally is plate glass coverage on the policy but it is usually very limited in coverage. Limitation is usually a dollar amount per pane of class and also usually has an aggregate limit per incident.
Signs are another specific item that are usually permanent in nature and are many times included within the definition of building property insurance. On most forms there’s usually a supplement for the amount of coverage for signs whether they are attached to the building or not. Usually limits can be increased for very nominal amount of premium increase. The value for signs varies greatly from business-to-business. Some companies have very exotic expensive signage such as those you see in Las Vegas. We will deal with the business personal property, business income coverage, and extra expense coverage in a forthcoming article.