Business Property Insurance

At BrokerLink, we understand that your commercial property is not just a building; it’s a pivotal asset in your business journey. That’s why we offer comprehensive commercial property insurance tailored to meet the unique needs of your business. Whether you own a retail store, an office building, or an industrial warehouse, our expert business insurance brokers are committed to providing you with the best insurance solutions. We protect your property against a range of risks, including natural disasters, theft, and accidental damage, ensuring peace of mind for you and your business.


What is commercial property insurance?

Commercial property insurance protects businesses against potential losses and damages to both your commercial space and physical assets. This includes buildings, equipment, inventory, furniture, and other property associated with the business. Moreover, commercial property insurance, also known as business property insurance, is not just about protecting a business’s physical assets; it’s also about ensuring business continuity in the face of disruptions.

Its comprehensive nature and adaptability make it essential to any business’s risk management strategy and commercial insurance portfolio, offering a safety net that helps companies navigate through unforeseen challenges.

What does commercial property insurance cover?

Commercial property insurance is a critical form of protection for businesses in Canada, offering a safety net against various risks that can impact physical assets and operational stability. Here are the primary key aspects of commercial building insurance in more detail:

Coverage for physical assets

This type of insurance protects a range of physical assets crucial to business operations, including the building itself, whether owned or leased, as well as fixtures, furniture, and equipment. It extends to cover external aspects like signage. The policy is specifically designed to protect against various risks, including fire and smoke damage, theft and vandalism, and weather-related damages like storms and hail. It’s important to note, however, that certain natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes, require additional coverage.

The coverage can be highly customized to meet the specific needs of different businesses. For example, a manufacturing unit with expensive machinery will have different insurance requirements than a small retail store. When setting up an insurance policy, the valuation of covered assets can be based either on their actual cash value or their replacement cost.

Protection against business interruption

Another critical aspect of commercial property insurance is its protection against business interruption. This coverage is essential for compensating a business for lost income and expenses during periods when they are unable to operate due to covered property damage. If a business is forced to temporarily cease operations due to a covered event like a fire, this insurance helps replace lost income, enabling the business to continue meeting its financial obligations, such as rent and payroll.

Additionally, it covers operating expenses that continue despite the business interruption, like utility bills or lease payments. It can also cover extra expenses to keep the business operational, such as renting a temporary space or relocating to a different building.

What is the difference between actual cash value and replacement cost?

Actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost represent two different methods of valuing property in insurance policies, each with distinct implications for policyholders. Below, we explain these in detail:

Actual cash value

Actual cash value (ACV) is the method of valuing an insured property by considering its current used value and factoring in depreciation. This means that ACV believes an item's value decreases over time due to factors like wear and tear, age, or obsolescence. In the event of a loss, an ACV-based policy will pay out the item's depreciated value, not the cost of buying it new.

Consequently, while insurance premiums for ACV coverage tend to be lower, the payout in the event of a claim may not be sufficient to replace the lost or damaged item fully. This type of valuation is often used in policies for older properties or items where the cost of full replacement might not be economically justifiable due to the item’s depreciated value.

Replacement cost

On the other hand, Replacement cost refers to the amount it would cost to replace a damaged or destroyed item with a new one of similar kind and quality, without deduction for depreciation. This method bases the valuation on current market prices for similar items.

Policies offering replacement cost coverage usually have higher premiums than ACV policies, but they provide a more comprehensive form of protection. If a claim is made under a replacement cost policy, the policyholder is more likely to receive a payout that covers the entire cost of purchasing new items to replace the damaged or lost ones.

Which one is best?

The choice between the two in a policy depends on various factors, including the policyholder’s financial situation, the value of the insured items, and their willingness to bear risk. While ACV policies might be more budget-friendly with their lower premiums, they could lead to significant out-of-pocket expenses in the event of a major loss. Replacement cost coverage, although more expensive in terms of premiums, ensures a more complete financial recovery, enabling the policyholder to replace their assets without additional financial burden. The decision between these two types of coverage should align with your overall insurance needs and financial strategy, balancing the trade-offs between premium costs and potential claim payouts.

Benefits of commercial property insurance

From aiding in rapid recovery and covering repair or replacement costs to ensuring business continuity through business interruption coverage, this insurance is a key component of risk management for any business. Commercial property insurance is designed to provide comprehensive protection tailored to the unique needs of your business. Your enterprise is distinct, so our commercial property insurance policy is adaptable to suit your specific requirements. It’s essential to ensure you’re equipped with the appropriate coverage for your business, such as:

Recovery from a loss

This aspect of commercial property insurance is crucial for mitigating the long-term effects of property damage caused by an insured peril, such as fires, storms, or vandalism. Recovering quickly from such incidents is vital for maintaining business continuity. This coverage ensures that your business can get back on its feet promptly, minimizing the period of disruption and helping to sustain your business operations and reputation.

Repair costs

Commercial property insurance plays a significant role in your business’s recovery by covering the repair costs in the event of a covered loss. This is essential for restoring your business premises and assets to their pre-loss condition. Whether it’s repairing structural damage to a building or fixing damaged equipment, this insurance can provide the financial resources needed to make these repairs without a substantial impact on your business finances.

Replacement costs

Sometimes, the damage to property or equipment may be too extensive to repair. In such cases, commercial property insurance can cover the replacement costs, allowing you to purchase new items or properties of similar quality and functionality. This coverage is particularly important to ensure that the loss of critical assets does not hinder your business operations.

Unexpected losses

Natural disasters and other unexpected events can cause significant property damage and are often beyond our control. Commercial property insurance policies typically include coverage for various events, including fire, winter storm, hail, and some forms of water damage. This coverage is essential as it provides a safety net in the face of unforeseen situations that could otherwise have devastating financial implications for your business.

Business interruption coverage

Business interruption coverage is one of the most valuable aspects of commercial property insurance. This protection helps mitigate your loss of income when your business cannot operate normally due to covered property damage. It enables you to pay ongoing expenses such as bills, payroll, and other operational costs, ensuring the financial stability of your business during interruptions.

Commercial property insurance offers a range of essential benefits for your business’s protection and resilience. These benefits provide peace of mind and financial security, ensuring that unexpected events don’t derail your business operations or financial stability. By customizing your coverage to fit your business's specific needs, the expert team at BrokerLink can ensure that your business is well-prepared to handle a variety of challenges and disruptions.


What does commercial property insurance not cover?

Commercial property insurance provides essential protection for businesses, but it’s important to note that there are certain exclusions and limitations, like various liability claims or data breaches. Understanding what is typically not covered under commercial property insurance helps businesses make informed decisions about their insurance needs and consider additional coverage if necessary. Common exclusions include:

Third-party liability claims

Commercial property insurance primarily covers damage to the business’s physical assets. It typically does not include third-party liability claims. This means that if your business is sued for damages or injuries caused to others, these claims would not be covered under a standard commercial property insurance policy.

For instance, if a customer slips and falls in your restaurant and decides to sue for injuries, commercial property insurance would not cover this liability. Instead, businesses must have separate liability insurance, such as general or public liability insurance, to protect against such claims.

Professional liability claims

Mistakes or negligence in providing professional services that result in financial losses for clients are notable exclusions in commercial property insurance policies. For example, consider a construction firm that unintentionally builds a house that doesn’t comply with local building codes. This error leads to extra construction costs and financial losses for the client. Commercial property insurance wouldn’t cover the client’s financial losses since they resulted from professional negligence during the development period. This type of risk would instead be addressed by professional liability insurance or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Vehicles and transportation equipment

Commercial property insurance, while comprehensive in many aspects, does not extend its coverage to vehicles and transportation equipment businesses use. This exclusion is significant because vehicles, whether they are used for delivery, transportation of goods, or other business purposes, represent a key asset and operational element for many companies. To ensure these vehicles are adequately protected, businesses must invest in specialized liability car insurance policies, such as commercial auto insurance.

Data breaches and cyber-attacks

Data breaches and cyber-attacks are significant risks for businesses in the digital age. For instance, if you keep track of your client’s personal information, such as credit card numbers, in an online database, there is a risk that your database could be hacked into and the credit card numbers stolen and then used. However, this scenario is not covered under commercial property insurance. Instead, companies that keep track of any personal client information online should consider cyber liability insurance for protection against such digital threats.

Earthquakes and floods

Many standard policies exclude damage caused by natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods. Businesses in areas prone to these risks often need to purchase separate earthquake or flood insurance policies.

Wear and tear

Normal wear and tear due to aging or regular use of the property is not covered. Over time, all properties experience some form of deterioration like rusting, corrosion, or decay. These are considered part of the normal lifecycle of any property and are expected to be managed through regular maintenance.

Intentional damage

Commercial property insurance does not cover damages that the business owner or employees intentionally cause. This includes any form of intentional destruction or damage, fraud, or criminal activity. This exclusion aims to prevent moral hazard, where an insured party might be tempted to cause damage to claim insurance benefits.

Additional coverage options to consider for your business property

Businesses should consider various additional insurance options, such as commercial auto, business interruption, or cyber liability insurance, to achieve comprehensive protection. A well-rounded insurance portfolio is crucial not only for complying with legal and contractual liabilities but also for establishing a safety cushion capable of handling unexpected disruptions from various unforeseen circumstances. Here are some other essential insurance coverage options that businesses frequently need:

Every business, whether it’s a small startup or a large corporation, should thoroughly assess its exposure to risks and seek advice from insurance specialists to construct a comprehensive insurance strategy tailored explicitly for commercial property insurance. This strategy will establish a multi-faceted defence approach, with each type of insurance covering a business’s risk.

While commercial property insurance forms the foundation of risk mitigation in this context, integrating other insurance options enhances and fortifies the overall insurance portfolio for businesses, guaranteeing comprehensive and resilient protection.

Factors that can affect your commercial property insurance premiums

From location to size to age and more, when it comes to commercial property insurance premiums in Canada, there are multiple factors that can change how much you end up paying. Understanding these factors can help you better anticipate your insurance costs and possibly find ways to reduce your premiums. Below are some of the critical factors that can affect your property’s insurance premiums:

Property location

The location of your property plays a significant role in determining your insurance premiums. Properties in areas prone to natural disasters such as forest fires, high crime rates, or with limited access to fire protection services such as fire stations typically face higher premiums.

Property size and replacement costs

The cost to replace your commercial property and its contents plays a key role in determining the amount of coverage required and the cost of your insurance premium. Larger properties or those with higher replacement values will have higher premiums.

Building age and condition

Insuring an older building often comes with higher costs in the event of a loss than newer buildings, which are generally cheaper to insure. Older buildings or those in poor condition typically attract higher premiums because they are seen as higher risks for claims. Newer buildings with updated electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems are considered lower risks and can lead to lower insurance costs. If your business occupies an older property and you’re considering renovations or upgrades, you must notify your insurance provider. These updates can have implications on your insurance coverage and may influence the amount you pay in premiums.

Type of business

Businesses that involve hazardous materials and heavy machinery or are open to the public, like restaurants or retail stores, often have higher premiums due to the increased risk of property damage or liability claims. On the other hand, businesses that operate in lower-risk environments, such as professional services firms or IT companies, typically enjoy lower insurance premiums.

Get in touch with BrokerLink

Securing a commercial property insurance policy is crucial for any business aiming to protect its operations from a broad range of potential property-related risks. While commercial property insurance covers various property-related perils, it’s essential to understand that it may not encompass all aspects, such as liability claims, data breaches, or even certain natural disasters. This is how BrokerLink can help. Our expert commercial insurance brokers will ask you the right questions to ensure your business has the insurance it needs to protect your business. We do all the research, source competitive quotes, and make sure your business property has the right coverage at the best price possible.

With the right commercial property policy, you can get your business back up and running quickly after you suffer a loss to your property. The BrokerLink team is ready to assist you in finding the right policy for your business today!


FAQs for commercial property insurance

What kind of insurance does a commercial building need?

Commercial buildings typically require commercial property insurance to protect against damage, theft, and liability related to the property itself. Depending on the business's needs, additional coverage, like business interruption and liability insurance, may also be necessary.

How does commercial insurance work?

Commercial insurance provides coverage for businesses against various risks and liabilities. It helps protect a company’s assets, income, and reputation. Businesses pay premiums to an insurance provider, and the insurer agrees to cover inevitable losses or damages as outlined in the policy.

What is the difference between commercial property insurance and residential property insurance?

The primary difference between commercial and residential property insurance is the purpose and coverage. Commercial property insurance is designed for businesses and covers commercial properties, tailored for business-related risks, while residential property insurance covers homes and personal residences.

What is an example of a commercial property insurance claim?

An example of a claim could be a retail store suffering damage from a fire. The insurance would cover the cost of repairing the store and replacing damaged inventory.

Do I need commercial property insurance for my small business?

Yes. Even small businesses have assets like equipment, inventory, or physical space that need protection against risks like theft, fire, or natural disasters.

Who does commercial property insurance cover?

It covers the business entity itself, protecting against loss or damage to the business's physical assets, such as buildings, equipment, and inventory.

If you have any questions, contact one of our local branches.

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