lower premiums and protecting your assets with britton insurance

When you own a building that is intended for commercial use – whether it is occupied as one commercial space, a multitude of businesses, mixed residential or unoccupied – it is your responsibility as landlord to insure that building. Commercial Property Insurance doesn’t just cover the building but your insurable risks within it. For example, if a member of the public gets injured by a fixture or fitting on the building or supplied by you, then you as the landlord are liable.

Coverage for the Building

As the owner of the building you need to insure the building for risks such as storm, fire, flood, escape of water etc. If the property is mixed use, with unoccupied areas or fully unoccupied, the general cover may decrease for unoccupied sections to Fire, Lightening, Explosion and Aircraft cover only.

The building sum insured should be calculated on the reinstatement value, namely:

  • How much would it cost to demolish?
  • How much would it be to clear out the site, including stabilising neighbouring properties if attached?
  • How much would it cost to reinstate the building to its current state including all fixtures and fittings originally supplied.

Anything that is fixed to the building and supplied by the landlord should be taken into consideration when estimating your building sum insured.

How to lower the cost If you increase security measures, such as installing fire alarms, let your insurer know as this could decrease your premiums

Insuring the Contents

Although you may not own all the contents or stock in the property, it’s likely you’ll own some contents such as shelving or furniture. Many landlords provide shop fits for their tenants, in which case it is considered your contents and therefore your responsibility to insure. You might think it would be cheaper for the tenant to insure this but they don’t have ‘insurable interest’ which means they can’t insure what they don’t own.

How to lower the cost Security measures, such as an alarm, surveillance and improved locks, will bring the cost of your premiums down.

Protecting your Rental Income

If the building is not fit for purpose due to an insurable peril, the insurance company in Ireland will cover the loss of rent from the property for usually 12 months, though policies vary so check your policy wording.

How to lower the cost Again, prevention is better than cure so install smoke alarms and sprinkler systems (where appropriate) to keep damage to a minimum.

Liability Cover for you and your employees

Property Owners Liability is similar to public liability and covers you for any incidents regarding the public and property that’s under your control.

Many landlords don’t realise they need Employers Liability, but if you hire someone to work on the property and they are injured, you would be liable as they are acting as your employee.

How to lower the cost Don’t be tempted to save money by avoiding liability insurances. Speak with your broker to get the right level of coverage at the right price.

Don’t forget the Additional Cover

Some policies include additional extras such as fire brigade charges. If you have a fire at your premises this will cover you for a set amount for the fire brigade to attend. Glass Cover may also be needed as a lot of commercial properties contain more glass than a standard house. Some insurers automatically cover glass breakage to a specified amount. Again, this is a set sum and something that differs from policy to policy so please check your quotation or policy wording to make sure that you have ample cover.

How to lower the cost Assess your own needs and only get the add-ons you need.

The best way to lower your premiums is to shop around to find the right business insurance cover for you, at the right price. You’ve invested time and money to build your business, and you want to safeguard that investment. Working with a broker will get you competitively priced insurance, suitable to your needs. At Britton Insurance, we’ve partnered with the leading business insurance companies to get you the right cover for your business.