Most business owners need to maintain comprehensive insurance coverage for their property. This includes property insurance, contents insurance and liability coverage. Like many consumer-based home insurance policies, business insurance does not outright cover flooding or earthquakes. However, there is help available to cover these losses. It’s important to know what your options are.
Flood Insurance Coverage For Businesses
Most business insurance plans cover the structure of the building. This includes from risks such as fire and vandalism. And, these policies can also cover the contents of those buildings as well as outbuildings you may have. Customizing your insurance to meet those needs is always your first step. Yet, flood insurance is also a consideration.
A basic business insurance policy does not provide flood damage protection. If your business is in a flood zone, you may need to purchase stand-alone flood insurance. This is a separate policy, sometimes purchased as a rider to your existing plan.
The government maps flood zones. In these areas, the risk of flooding is significantly higher. As a result, flood insurance becomes valuable. It can also be a bit more expensive here. Be sure your insurance agent gathers insight into flooding in the region. You may not want to operate your business in a high-risk zone due to the cost of this coverage.
Earthquake Insurance Coverage
Like floods, most business insurance policies do not provide coverage for earthquakes. Most of the time, the same rules apply to this coverage.
If you operate your business in a high-risk area, it is a good idea to seek out coverage for earthquakes. Separate policies may be available to you to do this. A commercial property earthquake endorsement is an add-on to your existing policy. It helps to provide a higher level of coverage in these high-risk areas.
Business Interruption Insurance
In both of these situations, you may need to rely on business interruption coverage. It helps cover the lost income your business has when a covered incident occurs. If you do not have earthquake or flood insurance, your business interruption insurance may not apply if such a disaster occurs. This makes it difficult to overcome the losses in these situations.
Because flooding can occur almost anywhere, having an updated policy tends to be important. Work with your business insurance agent to gain more insight into both programs. Determine if you need to update your business insurance policy to meet these risks. Doing so can help minimize your losses.
FAQ’s About Business Insurance Protection from Earthquakes and Floods
What types of natural disasters are typically covered by business insurance policies?
Business insurance policies typically cover natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.
Are earthquakes and floods covered under the same insurance policy?
No, earthquakes and floods are usually covered under separate insurance policies. Earthquake insurance is typically sold as an add-on to a property insurance policy, while flood insurance is a separate policy altogether.
How much does earthquake insurance cost for businesses?
The cost of earthquake insurance for businesses varies depending on a number of factors, including the location of the business, the value of the property, and the level of coverage needed. It is best to consult with an insurance agent to get a personalized quote.
How much does flood insurance cost for businesses?
The cost of flood insurance for businesses also varies depending on factors such as location, property value, and coverage level. Again, it’s best to consult with an insurance agent for a personalized quote.
What types of damage are typically covered by earthquake insurance?
Earthquake insurance typically covers damage to a building’s structure, as well as damage to personal property inside the building. It may also cover additional expenses such as temporary relocation and loss of business income.
What types of damage are typically covered by flood insurance?
Flood insurance typically covers damage to a building’s structure and its contents, including furniture, equipment, and inventory. It may also cover additional expenses such as temporary relocation and loss of business income.
Is flood insurance required for businesses located in high-risk flood zones?
If a business is located in a high-risk flood zone and has a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, it is required to have flood insurance.
Are there any exclusions to coverage under earthquake or flood insurance policies?
Yes, there may be exclusions to coverage under these policies. For example, earthquake insurance may not cover damage caused by landslides or sinkholes, while flood insurance may not cover damage caused by sewer backup or groundwater seepage.
Can businesses purchase earthquake and flood insurance together in a single policy?
No, earthquake and flood insurance are typically sold as separate policies. However, some insurance companies may offer a package policy that combines both types of coverage.
How do businesses file a claim for earthquake or flood damage?
If a business experiences damage from an earthquake or flood, the first step is to contact the insurance company and file a claim. The insurance company will send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine the amount of coverage. It is important to document all damage with photos and keep records of all expenses related to the damage.
Typical costs of commercial insurance for natural disasters
The cost of commercial insurance coverage for natural disasters like earthquakes and floods can vary greatly, depending on factors like location, building type, coverage limits, and deductibles. In general, you can expect the following costs:
- Flood insurance: Businesses may need to purchase stand-alone flood insurance as a separate policy or as a rider to an existing plan. Commercial Flood Insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides up to $500,000 in coverage for direct physical damage to buildings caused by flooding.
- Earthquake insurance: Similar to flood insurance, businesses may need to purchase separate earthquake insurance coverage. This type of insurance usually covers damage to the building and property, such as inventory and lost business income.
It should be noted that insurance costs can vary significantly, and it’s essential to discuss your specific requirements with an insurance agent to understand the exact coverage and costs to your business.
Regional or state-specific requirements for earthquake and flood insurance
There may be regional or state-specific requirements for business insurance coverage of earthquakes and floods, depending on your location. Some states and local governments have specific regulations regarding the types of coverage businesses must have, taking into account factors like building codes, zoning laws, and local floodplain management ordinances.