Commercial Property And You

As a small business owner who owns commercial property, it's important to understand your responsibilities and obligations to ensure the safety of your tenants and property. In this blog post, we'll cover the various responsibilities and risks involved in owning and leasing commercial property, as well as the benefits of having adequate insurance coverage, specifically buildings insurance and property owners' liability insurance.

Your Responsibilities as A Commercial Property Owner

Commercial property owners have certain responsibilities to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their tenants. This includes providing a safe and secure building with proper facilities and maintenance. It's your responsibility to ensure that the property is safe and fit for purpose, meets all necessary health and safety requirements and regulations, and is compliant with all legal obligations.

Electrical and Gas Safety

Electrical and gas safety is a critical issue that should never be overlooked. As a commercial property owner, you must ensure that all electrical and gas installations and appliances are properly maintained and regularly checked by a qualified professional. Failure to do so can result in accidents or even fatalities, which could lead to legal liability and financial consequences.

Check out our post on electrical inspections here.

Potential Dangers/What Could Go Wrong

There are a number of potential dangers and risks that can occur in commercial properties. These can include fires, floods, theft, vandalism, and accidents. It's important to take measures to prevent these risks from occurring and to have a plan in place to address them if they do occur.

Protect Your Property

To help protect your property you should carry out a risk assessment of the property itself and the surrounding area, here are some of our tips on what you can look for when you carry out your assessment.

How Well Maintained Is Your Building's Storm or Flood Protection?

There are some things you can do as a business to mitigate the risk of flooding before it even happens.

  • Move essential business equipment and files to an upper level, or a high level (including your insurance documentation!)
  • Make sure you frequently back up any customer data and files
  • If you have a ground floor kitchen, you can raise some of your white goods on a plinth, this will be easiest for non-integrated items such as a standalone fridge/oven etc.
  • Invest in some flood barriers and keep them in a designated place so they’re easily found on short notice.
  • If possible, install a non-return valve in your sewer pipes to protect your place of business from a nasty surprise.
  • Where possible, invest in flood-resistant building upgrades such as permeable surfacing on any drives and pathways, or flood-resistant wall plaster.
  • Look into moving electrical sockets and wiring to high positions.
  • Prepare a Business Continuity Plan to understand the processes you will need to follow to recover in event of a flood.

Is Your Property As Secure As It Can Be From Crime?

Ensure that your property has adequate alarms installed to help deter criminals and alert the relevant authorities in the event of crime striking.

  • An alarm deters intruders, an intruder would prefer to target un-alarmed premises.
  • Audible warnings may alert neighbours. If there is a remote signal, the keyholder, and police will respond.
  • An alarm will limit the intruder’s time on site and what they can take.
  • If police and keyholders attend, they will be at least five minutes, so typically if an intruder targets alarmed premises they will limit time on site to less than this.

One factor to consider is fostering good relationships with your neighbours. Good neighbours can help to alert you to potential threats and suspicious behaviour, sometimes giving you early warning before anything untoward happens.

Make Sure You Have The Right Type Of Insurance Policy In Place

Depending on what type of property and the usage you might find that you need more than just the bricks and mortar protected by your insurer. You should ask your FSB Insurance Service broker to find out what the best cover for you is, but here are a few risks that you might find you need to defend your property from:

  • Fire, storm, or flood
  • Theft or malicious damage
  • Subsidence or accidental damage
  • Property owners insurance to cover injury or accidents on site
  • Loss of rent if the property is out of action following a loss

The Danger Of Being Underinsured

One of the biggest risks that small business owners face is being underinsured. In the event of a disaster or accident, if you don't have adequate insurance coverage, you may be forced to cover the costs out of pocket, which can be financially devastating. It's important to work with a trusted insurance provider to ensure that you have adequate coverage for your property and your liability risks.

We offer a Virtual Valuation Service in partnership with CPA to help you accurately determine your property's full rebuild cost.

Learn more about underinsurance here.

At FSB Insurance Service, we understand the importance of having proper insurance coverage. That's why we offer a range of insurance products, including buildings insurance and property owner's liability insurance, to help you protect your investment.

Owning and leasing commercial property comes with a range of responsibilities and risks. It's important to take steps to ensure the safety of your property and your tenants, including proper maintenance, adherence to health and safety regulations, and adequate insurance coverage.

Work with a trusted insurance provider like FSB Insurance Service to ensure that you have the right coverage to protect your property and your financial future.