Business owners have to be aware of the fact that something could go wrong in the business at any time, and when it does, there could be both property damage and significant financial losses that might occur. Most businesses tend to associate property damage risks with hazards like fires or severe weather. However, a much more prominent and hard-to-prevent hazard that could threaten any property is theft.
Someone could decide to steal from your business at any time, even from right under your nose. Thieves might of course be random criminals looking for a quick payout. Others might be looking for data to use in the commission of identity theft. Still others might be shoplifters, or even worse your employees.
Try as you might, you can’t completely eliminate the risk that your business will be the victim of break-ins, vandalism or theft of property. However, your commercial property insurance will be there to help you in such circumstances, provided you have the right benefits for your specific needs. While theft is generally covered by these policies, it’s still up to you to work with your agent to understand both what your plan will and will not cover.
Theft in Businesses
Theft is one of the world’s oldest and most-common crimes. Businesses are particularly vulnerable to theft simply because they serve the public, often provide relative ease of access, and tend to have items of value on display in ways that enable quick getaways. And theft doesn’t have to be a major event. It can occur slowly or be over before you even have time to bat an eyelid.
When a thieve strikes, they might take products, stock, equipment, materials and furnishings within the business. They might also take cash on hand or other financial assets. They could even steal sensitive computer data and client belongings left in your care. In such instances, the effects of the robbery could affect far more people than just you as a business owner.
Plus, theft often leads to property damage to the business location. Though shoplifters or internal bad actors could of course have free access to the property, others might have to physically break in, in order to commit the crime. Therefore, they might do significant damage that could likewise prove costly.
The costs of theft of items and property damage caused by the act could mount quickly. At this time, your property insurance will be an asset that can come to your aid.
How Your Property Insurance Can Help You
Property insurance is there to help you pay to repair property damaged by theft, and to help you replace or recover stolen items. In general, it can cover items like:
- The building where the business is housed (provided you own that building)
- Furnishings (either if they are stolen or damaged during the theft)
- Certain personal items
Your policy will include coverage limits, however:
- You should insure the property for the full value of your buildings, equipment and other possessions. Remember, however, that the insurer might pay only certain amounts of money for certain damage, based on the terms of the policy.
- Sometimes, an insurer will compensate you for the replacement cost of lost items or damage. This coverage pays you for the value of an item at its new cost.
- Other items might only be eligible for an actual cash value settlement. This is the cost of an item after it depreciates over time, which is not the same as a new item.
- Keep in mind, deductibles will apply, so your insurer will subtract this amount of money before they issue your final policy settlement.
For help choosing limits that are appropriate for your property value, speak to your insurance agent.
Maximizing Your Coverage
It’s important to remember that commercial property insurance must be made specific in order to adequately cover your insurable assets. However, to make your policy specific for you, you will often need to take a few additional steps.
- You can insure certain items as scheduled equipment on the policy. Coverage will provide specific coverage limits to items of high value.
- Ask your agent if the policy contains money and securities coverage. This coverage applies to money, checks and other financial documents stolen in a theft.
- There is a chance that employees of the business might be the thieves. See if your policy offers employee dishonesty coverage, which can apply when internal theft occurs.
- Remember to institute a strong security system that monitors your business at all times, even when you are inside working.
As soon as theft occurs, immediately report the incident to police. Have them take a report of all the items damaged and lost in the theft. At that point, call your commercial insurance agent. We can help you start to file the claim, and then will work with you to reach an appropriate settlement.
Also Read: Why Replacement Cost Property Insurance is Worth It
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