Office buildings offer a win-win option for owners and renters: renters can conduct their business outside the home, and owners have regular rental income from relatively low-risk businesses. However, both the building owner and occupier are responsible for protecting themselves from fire losses—and insufficient coverage can put both parties out of business. Attorney Bill Voss knows that the key to getting full payment for a fire damage claim is for owners and renters to select the right insurance options that will address the unique needs of each business.
Collecting Fair Payment After a Fire Damages Your Office Building
Your commercial fire insurance needs can vary depending on a number of factors, including whether you work out of a leased office or own the building, the type of business you operate, and the equipment you use on a daily basis. If you lease or own commercial property, you should consider the following forms of fire insurance protection:
- Commercial property damage. If you own the building that houses a business, your commercial property insurance will pay for fire losses to the structure, the outdoor signage, and fences and landscaping. Depending on the extent of coverage, it may also include expenses for site cleanup and debris removal, fire department service charges, restoring items that have sustained smoke and soot damage, and hiring professional drying or odor removal services for your location.
- Building ordinance and law. Commercial building owners will be responsible for rebuilding their structures in a way that is compliant with current building ordinances. Building ordinance and law coverage can pay for the added expense of bringing the damaged property up to code.
- Rental property damage. If you own the business but work out of a rental space, your commercial rental insurance should reimburse you for any company property that is damaged in a fire. Your landlord’s insurance should cover damage to the roof and walls, while your policy provides payment for your office furniture, computers, phone systems, inventory, employees' belongings, and equipment.
- Business auto insurance. If you have a delivery van, shuttle, or other company vehicle, commercial auto insurance can be used to repair or replace these vehicles if they are damaged by fire.
- Newly-acquired property. If you have added a new complex or recently constructed a new property to lease as a commercial space, the property may not be insured under your current policy. A policy extension to cover new acquisitions can provide temporary coverage (usually up to 30 days) to give you time to purchase full coverage on the new addition.
- Equipment breakdown. A fire that started due to a defective electrical system, boiler explosion, or other equipment can be costly to replace if they damage wiring throughout the property. Equipment breakdown insurance covers extensive damage caused by electrical and mechanical components.
- Company records. A fire can destroy valuable documents, tax forms, payroll records, business contact lists, and other papers necessary for the success of your business. Records restoration insurance can pay for the added expense of recreating your company files after a covered loss.
- Seasonal business insurance. If your business sees an uptick in revenue at a certain time or year (such as accounting firms during tax time), a fire during the busy season could mean a greater loss of profits. Seasonal business insurance can replace the income lost during a peak time for the company, allowing the business to end the year without going into the red.
- Business income insurance. This vital form of commercial coverage can help cover expenses while your business is closed or under repair after a fire. Business income insurance can be used to pay for continuing operating expenses (including employee payroll), the cost of renting a temporary location during restoration, and the costs of relocation and advertising fees while you do business at an alternate site.
If an insurance company is denying coverage after a fire at your place of business, our attorneys can examine your policy and fight on your behalf to get you the full amount you are owed. Simply fill out the form on this page today to contact the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.