Commercial Property Insurance

GET A FREE – NO OBLIGATION QUOTE – RGIB Insurance Broking is expert at securing clients the most appropriate insurance cover for their commercial property insurance requirements; including for types of  Industrial Special Risks ‘ISR’ and Defined Perils policies. Indeed, RGIB can arrange insurance quotes for both types of commercial property insurance policies, as well for high risk industrial buildings containing significant EPS panelling and or older type buildings constructed primarily of Timber.

So what ‘s the difference?

In simplistic terms, an ISR’ policy will cover just about any physical loss or damage to property and buildings; including in most cases interruption to a business from causes other than those specifically excluded. Whereas; a Defined Perils policy only covers the specific perils defined in the policy such as fire, storm, tempest, burglary etc’. Simply put, if the loss isn’t the result of a defined peril you probably won’t be covered.

Both types of commercial property insurance policies contain similar exclusions but, in any event it is far more desirable to insure a commercial building for the wider cover provided under an ISR’ policy than under a policy limited to a set of defined perils only. Indeed, commercial property insurance is designed to cover just about every type of building used for commercial purposes across a wide range of business types so, it can get tricky working out which insurance company policy best suits your particular requirements. Commercial property usually includes:-

commercial retail building insurance
commercial office building insurance
commercial strata building insurance
shopping center property insurance
Commercial property insurance is not always a simple proposition; more often than not it requires the skill of a professional insurance broker with a high degree of knowledge about commercial property insurance to get the best quote for the optimum level of cover in order to meet the specific risk requirements. For example a two story retail shop front building with a hairdressing salon and offices upstairs requires a very different level of cover compared to a similar building, but with a cafe or takeaway food shop downstairs and accommodation upstairs; and different again if the building adjoins another which has a tattoo parlor or other perceived high risk business in it. Indeed, commercial property insurance covers a wide range of business and must be specifically focused. For example we have commercial property insurance available to specifically cover:-   (click to see more)

Insuring for Full Replacement Value and Under-Insurance:-

It is imperative to insure for full replacement value; for instance recent OH&S legislation requires that some plant, fixtures and equipment need to be replaced as new in the event of a loss – this means one has to take into account the cost of new equipment in the overall sums insured and in particular the individual equipment coverage limits. There is little point to having machinery & equipment valued at $50,000+ when the insurance cover might limit individual items to a maximum replacement value of just $10,000 or less. It can be a classic case of getting caught out by the small print.

Just about all insurance policies include an ‘under-insurance’ clause which allows Insurers to limit claim payments if your building(s) and associated equipment is not insured for the full replacement value. Insurers will usually try to reduce any claim costs (what they are liable to pay you) by the equivalent amount in percentage terms to what the underinsurance represented. They may for example, take the view that you insured your combined property for only 50% of the actual replacement value and therefore attempt to only pay you 50% of what the full claim costs might be.

While most insures recognise a reasonable variance in values, say of around 10% as a rule of thumb; anymore of a variance can cause real problems in the event of a claim, even a small one. In many cases Insures insist on having a risk survey done on the property before offering terms; this is done to ensure the proposed values are correct and the property is in good condition before providing a quote or committing to contract. RGIB can usually arrange to carry out a basic survey at little or no extra cost for our clients however; such will depend on the size and complexity of the property to be insured as well as uses and the types of tenants in the building.

Insurance is the Ultimate Risk Management Strategy:-

Every building owner and tenant should consider their insurance as the ultimate risk management strategy; if done right it will put you back in business without any unnecessary delay or financial hardship which could otherwise be exasperated by delays and disputes about what was and wasn’t covered by a policy; ndeed, it’s not uncommon for an Insured to have thought that their insurance covered ‘everything’ only to find out it did not. Thus, commercial property insurance should never just be just limited to buildings and structures, as one needs to consider what the actual ‘insured risk’ extends to because it may be necessary to supplement the property’s insurance cover with additional insurance for legal and public liability, product liability, machinery breakdown and electronic equipment as well as cover for motor vehicles and other types of mobile machinery and other associated risks directly related to the property’s uses.

Depending on the client’s relationship to the property, ie
  • Owner/Landlord;
  • Owner/Occupier;
  • Tenant/Lessee;
Strata Ownership through a company or other equitable interest it may also be desirable to include cover for Business Interruption which insures financial losses incurred as a consequence of something happening which shuts the business down for a period of time; a fire for example which destroys important machinery and equipment. Learn more about Business Interruption insurance

Other important things to consider are:-

Multiple Locations:- If you have multiple property locations, i.e, a number of branches, shops, factories or depots, then all the location addresses of each property must be shown on the policy schedule; as well Insurers have to be kept up to date in the event of any changes such as an insured building becoming vacant; as most insurance policies exclude cover when a property has been vacant for over 60 days.

Tenants:- Your property ‘s tenants can, and almost always do, impact on the risk rating of your property and thus pricing; for example having a restaurant with cooking on the premises will attract a higher pricing than a business where there is no cooking. It is important therefore ensure all tenant occupations are listed correctly on an application and that Insurers are kept notified of any material changes during the period of cover.

Construction:- Construction of a building is main factor effecting price, so we have to make sure Insures are fully informed of the materials used in a buildings’ construction otherwise they may be entitled to deny liability in the event of a claim. Be mindful of any EPS or asbestos materials.

When we arrange cover for you we make sure to factor in an appropriate level of cover for removal of debris. The cost to clear a site before rebuilding comes out of the building sum insured so if not included, the reduced cover could lead to the under-insurance clause being triggered. Also keep in mind the extra expense for any removing asbestos material. See Frequently Asked Questions about Commercial Property Insurance

RGIB is a leader in commercial property insurance; we’ re constantly negotiating with Insurers for better terms of cover for our clients; many of which have properties with specific insurance requirements unique to their industry. We can even assist you with premium Funding Finance.

Learn more about the benefits of engaging RGIB Business Insurance Brokers to arrange your next insurance quote

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No matter how big or small your insurance needs are RGIB will ensure you get value for money with easy to understand insurance from the best Australian Insurers.


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If you would like to speak with a broker about getting the best insurance cover for your specific industry needs please phone us on 1300 620 520 or Request a Call Back.

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Where other insurance brokers shy away from Hard to Place insurance risks we actually love the challenge of doing something out of the ordinary. Got something different? – give us something different to do.