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business owners insurance
Business owners insurance policy, sometimes referred to as a BOP, is designed specifically to help businesses protect themselves from property and liability damages. Only certain types of business operations can qualify for a business owners insurance policy. Generally this type of commercial insurance is reserved for retail operations, stores, apartment buildings, business offices and similar types of commercial enterprises.
For business types that qualify for business owners insurance, each policy has a mandatory coverage portion and optional additions that can be added by the business owner. Several exclusions and conditions may apply to each policy and these are usually similar to the exclusions and conditions included in a general liability insurance policy.
Business owners insurance is specifically designed to help certain types of business operations and their owners, as long as they meet the specific insurance coverage conditions.
Examples of some of the types of conditions or exclusions you may encounter with a business owners insurance policy include the following:
Apartment building owners can qualify for business owners insurance if the apartment building has fewer than specified units and is no more than certain stories high. Office buildings also must be lower than certain stories and less than the indicated square footage depending on the company guidelines.
Motel businesses, contractor and construction businesses, and self-storage business all qualify for business owner insurance. Small restaurants and fast-food establishments can qualify for this type of commercial insurance coverage as long as their business premises are not over certain square feet in size determined by the company.
Convenience stores can qualify as well depending on the percentages of sales on alcohol and tobacco. Dry cleaners can also qualify for this coverage as long as they provide their cleaning services on the business premises.
Building and Structure Coverage
Business owners insurance helps provide coverage for your company in the event that property damages arise with specific buildings and structures you listed on your insurance policy. The coverage encompasses additions and improvements you make to structures or buildings for your business, as long as those additions are permanent.
Business owners insurance can help protect your business against losses that arise from the damage or destruction of secondary properties as well. Secondary or dependent properties for your business may not be the primary business premises but instead play a supporting role in day-to-day operations.
Business Personal Property Coverage
Business personal property coverage is commonly referred to as contents coverage and it generally applies to what is located inside your business structures. File records, computer equipment, furnishings and other contents inside the structure may be protected as part of the business owners insurance policy if you elect to have this coverage added.
Business owners insurance helps protect a variety of other important business assets you may own. For example, if you own an apartment building, the coverage can help protect against loss of personal items such as your furniture and miscellaneous property inside your apartment. Equipment that you may keep outside such as patio furniture, appliances and even maintenance materials may also be covered.
If you have additional property, equipment and supplies that are not covered by other types of insurance, business owners insurance may cover them for you. Building additions which are under construction or temporary buildings that you are using as part of a renovation or addition to your property may qualify for coverage under this policy.
Business owners insurance can have personal property coverage added that helps protect you from the loss of personal property at new business locations as well as offsite locations.
Whether you first start construction on a new business structure or you purchase a new building for your company, the personal property coverage option helps ensure all of your personal and business content property is protected at that new location from the moment you begin construction or close the purchase on it.
Property that is off the premises of your business location can also be covered under the business owners insurance policy. With the exception of securities or money, if you have business property in transit from one of your corporate structures to another it can be covered by this section of the business owners insurance. Damages and losses are limited for personal property that is in transit or temporarily located at a location that is not a structure of your business.
Business Income and Expense Coverage
Business owners insurance helps cover loss of income and additional expenses that are caused because of the loss of business property such as your business office building. Income coverage is designed to protect you from complete income loss if you lose a primary business structure that is critical to your businesses ability to generate income. This coverage will replace the income lost from the loss of your building for up to one year after the event or up to a specified limit on your policy. Expense coverage adds additional peace of mind by helping to cover additional expenses that can arise after losing your business structure. Extra expenses may arise in the form of rebuilding or restoring costs to replace or fix the building that was insured.
Additional Property Coverage
This optional addition to your business owners insurance policy helps protect important outdoor property from damages and loss due to fire, lightening or other disasters. Examples of additional property that can be protected include antennas, fences, gates and outdoor signs.
Valuable Papers, Documents and Receivables Coverage
Businesses of all types retain important documents and paperwork as part of their day-to-day operations. Depending upon the type of business you operate, you may also keep accounts receivables inside your office or primary business building. Business owners insurance can be extended to include protection against losses of these valuable business items. This protection helps your business absorb the costs involved with researching or replacing important papers and documents for your business, including electronic documentation such as those kept on computers or portable media solutions.
Accounts receivable coverage helps replace income losses that arise from property damage or loss. For example, if your company is unable to collect on its accounts due to document losses, the accounts receivable coverage will replace those amounts due.
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