Topic: Commercial Property Insurance

Kristina Gray with Buckman & Gray was our speaker for the February 2016 meeting. This month’s topic centered around commercial property insurance. Kristina discussed the 5 things to think about when purchasing insurance or submitting an insurance claim. To start off, Kristina shared this disclaimer: READ YOUR INSURANCE POLICY! Each company’s situation is different. Item number 1 in the 5 things to do was make sure you have the right amount of insurance when it comes to the value of your property. Your co-insurance amount should be at least 80% of your property value. Item number 2 is determining what type of coverage you need. You need to assess your needs and determine the right coverage to address those needs. Do you need ACV or RCV coverage? Do you need to be covered for business interruption? Do you need to be covered for an earthquake? What deductibles or co-insurance do you require? Item number 3 is flood insurance. Does your building insurance offer flood protection (think Katrina). If so, should you have separate flood protection on your building? Item number 4 is considering your duties in the event of a loss. First and foremost, you need to provide prompt notice to your insurance company of any claim. Take an inventory of your damaged items and allow the insurer to inspect the damage. Provide a proof of loss. Cooperate with the investigation. Notify the police if any laws have been broken (burglary, etc.). Item number 5 is spoliation of evidence. In the event of litigation, you have a duty to preserve any and all documents related to the incident. This could be emails, text messages, surveillance videos, files, memos, etc. Why is this important? In the event of a lawsuit, a judge can dismiss a lawsuit or enter a judgement against you (among other things) if you do not have the data to back up your claim. Hopefully, none of us will ever have to take advantage of an insurance policy. However, it is critical to be covered in case the need ever arises!