Property Insurance: Protect Your Equipment, Gear, and Office Space and Clients' Property in Your Care.

Commercial Property Insurance helps your business recover from a sudden loss of property caused by..

  • Fire.
  • Theft.
  • Certain weather events.
  • Vandalism.

You're probably familiar with personal Property Insurance (i.e., Homeowner's or Renter's Insurance). Commercial Property Insurance works in much the same way. If your property is stolen or damaged by a covered event, your insurance carrier can reimburse you for the lost property and help you pay for repairs, debris removal, or other costs associated with getting your business up and running.

If you own your building, Property Insurance can cover your premises and other property. If you rent, Property Insurance can cover your gear and equipment, including..

  • Tools.
  • IT equipment, electronics, computers, tablets, etc.
  • Supplies.
  • Office equipment and furnishings.
  • (Work at home? See below.)

If a fire starts in your office and sets off the sprinkler system, in the span of a few minutes your business could lose thousands of dollars' worth of electronics and thousands more in damage to your building. Here's how the claims process would work:

  • You contact your insurance company to file a claim.
  • You provide documentation of the disaster, including pictures of the damage.
  • You get a quote from a repairman or shop around for new gear.
  • The insurance company sends a claims adjuster to your property to verify the payout amount.
  • You submit a final claim to your insurance company.
  • Your insurance company sends you a check, which you use to fund repairs or replacements.

Your Clients' Property

If you're like many independent IT contractors or consultants, you may not have much business property. But even if your "business assets" consist of a couple of laptops and a printer, Property Insurance is probably a good investment.

Why? Because while you're working on or handling your clients' property, you're responsible for any physical damage you cause, accidental or otherwise. For example, if you drop a server or monitor, you'll likely be expected to pay for the costs of repair or replacement.

When you are working on or handling your clients' computer equipment, you are responsible for any accidental physical damage you might cause. If you drop a server or damage a monitor you'll likely be expected to pay for the repair or replacement cost. In fact, any client property in your "care, custody, or control" can be covered under your Property Insurance.

So even if your business property is minimal, coverage for your clients' property can easily justify the cost of a Property policy.

Does a Home-Based IT Business Need Property Insurance?

This is a common insurance question, so we'll give you the common insurance answer: maybe. For a straightforward answer, check the language of your Homeowner's policy.

Many Homeowner's policies have explicit exclusions for commercial property (computers, equipment, tools, etc.). So if someone breaks into your house, smashes the back window, and steals your work laptop and electronics, your Homeowner's policy may not reimburse you. You would have to pay out of pocket to replace your computers.

How do you know if your policy covers your commercial property? Each policy is different, so you'll have to look at the language in your policy and / or talk to your insurance agent.

Next: Business Owner's Policy: Property + General Liability for Less

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