Commercial property insurance is specialised insurance cover for property that is owned solely as an investment or to generate income.

Usually, this property is a commercial premises or has mixed residential and commercial use.

Commercial property insurance is an important business insurance for any business that owns their own property.

Commercial property insurance is an important business insurance for any business that owns their own property

What is covered by commercial property insurance?

Building – Commercial property insurance covers your replacement or rebuild costs should you suffer an insurable risk. This cover offers protection from from damage caused by:

  • Fire
  • Storm
  • Flood
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Escape of water
  • Impact from vehicles or animals
  • Oil leak
  • Civil commotion or terrorism cover
  • Theft
  • Break ins
  • Attempted theft
  • Malicious damage
  • Accidental damage
Business insurance for trades people usually includes product liability cover

You may also get additional cover for subsidence or landslip, although this can depend on the geographical area that you property is situated in.

Building insurance is often offered as part of a wider business insurance policy which offers protection tailored to your specific business.

Fire Brigade charges to a local authority are usually covered by commercial building insurance.

Most insurers offer specific protection against malicious damage and breakage of glass as part of commercial property insurance, again this is tailored to your individual business.

Cover for professional fees eg. surveyors fees should your property need to be repaired or rebuilt should be included as part of your buildings insurance.

Landlords fixtures and fittings will be included in a commercial property buildings insurance policy or commercial landlord insurance, as may landlord’s contents (stock). Usually, contents cover is insured at a percentage of your buildings cover, however, it is important to value your contents accurately to avoid underinsurance.

Tenants’ contents, however, will not be covered and the will need to arrange their own insurance cover for their contents.

Should your property be unusable due to an insured risk, commercial property insurance may offer financial protection against loss of rent, subject to the limits of the policy.

Alternative accommodation – should your property be unusable due to an insured risk, commercial property may provide cover for alternative accommodation up to a percentage of the buildings sum insured.

Some commercial buildings insurance. will include cover for outside space.

Legal expenses cover will offer financial protection for your legal costs should a claim be made against you even if you are found liable for damages. This may be an optional extra on your business property insurance.

Fidelity guarantee insurance can be offered as part of commercial property insurance. Fidelity guarantee insurance offers financial protection for loss of money or property due to the fraud or dishonesty of employees. Aviva offer this insurance as part of their commercial property insurance.

Public liability (or property owner’s liability) is third party cover should your property cause loss or injury to another person who enters the property. Public liability insurance is offered as part of commercial property insurance.

Employers liability insurance may be covered as part of commercial property insurance. It would cover injury or death of an employee working on the property.

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What is not covered by commercial property insurance?

When taking out commercial property insurance, it should be noted the following areas are not covered by any policy.

Geographical Area Exclusions

High risk areas are not eligible for commercial property insurance. For example flooding and subsidence in certain geographical areas may be excluded from your commercial buildings insurance if they are commonplace or occur regularly.

Unoccupied Premises

Generally, if a premises is unoccupied for any length of time, or is undergoing significant renovations, it may not be covered by commercial buildings insurance. As always it is wise to check your policy documents.

Regular Maintenance

A property insurance policy will not offer cover for wear and tear or necessary regular maintenance. Tenants contents 

Tenant’s contents will not be covered by your insurance cover, even if they carry out alterations to your property eg. partitions, false ceilings etc.. It is important to specify what is and is not insured on your policy when you exchange contracts with a tenant.

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Factors that Affect the Premium

The following factors are considered when calculating the amount the policy premium will be:

The construction of your building in terms of materials and the nature of the business carried out there in terms of fire risk will affect the coast of your buildings premium.

Having adequate security measures, carrying out regular safety checks and maintenance, as well as fire safety measures etc. will affect how much you pay for commercial insurance.

The location of your building eg. urban or rural, access to fire services as well as crime statistics, will affect the cost of your premium.

The rebuild cost of your building will dictate the cost of your premium.. It is important to get an accurate quote for rebuild cost so as to avoid underinsurance. Generally, listed buildings or protected structures will require specialist insurers.

Material damage all risks cover is the most comprehensive type of cover. Accidental damage cover is usually offered as an optional extra which will affect the cost of your insurance.

Also, if you require additional contents cover you will need to have your contents valued as the standard 15% of buildings cover may not adequately protect your contents.

The level of public or property owners liability you need will affect your premium.

Including optional extras eg. legal expenses cover, will affect how much you pay for your premium.

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Who offers commercial property insurance in Ireland?

Aviva - Home Insurance
FBD - Home Insurance
AIG - Home Insurance
Allianz - Home Insurance
AXA - Home Insurance
Zurich - Home Insurance

Commercial Property Insurance & Landlord Insurance

Commercial property insurance may be offered to landlords of residential rental properties as commercial landlord insurance but generally the distinction is between residential property and commercial property.

Generally, landlord insurance (a specific form of home insurance) covers letting of residential property only, even if the landlord owns multiple properties.

Commercial property insurance covers commercial properties which are let to business tenants and used for business purposes (be they offices, shops, warehouses etc.), or covers landlords with a mixed portfolio of properties which includes a mixture of residential and commercial properties.

commercial property insurance and landlord insurance

Commercial Property Insurance FAQ’s

Generally, a tenants contents would need to be covered by their own contents insurance policy. A commercial buildings insurance policy would not cover both landlords and tenants’ contents.

If a tenant puts up, say partitions or decorations, for example, they would need to be covered buy the tenant. This should be clarified in their tenancy agreement.

Yes. Generally, commercial property insurance policies offer cover for landlord’s or public liability, and often offer cover for employers liability and, possibly fidelity guarantee insurance.

This depends on your geographical location. For example, parts of Cork City are habitually flooded and flooding may be excluded from commercial property insurance policies in this instance.

Your home is not specifically a commercial property, you can probably arrange cover on your home insurance. You may also need small business insurance, public liability insurance and employers liability insurance, however.

You would still need cover if, for example in the event of a fire you incurred fire brigade charges and needed to repair or rebuild your premises following the fire. Your rebuild cost would be covered by commercial building insurance, as well as the fire brigade charges.

No, but it is highly advised to protect yourself against the risks associated with owning commercial property.

Risks of fire, flood, or damage or loss caused by an event such as a break in, as well as the costs of rebuild or repair of your property could devastate your business. It may also be a loan condition if you require finance to purchase your commercial property.

insurance faqs

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