Insuring a commercial property is not always a one-stop-shop. While some may assume the process is rather straightforward like obtaining renters or car insurance, there are many other elements that must be taken into account when it comes to making sure a business is insured against any unexpected incident. One of the questions that often arise when insuring a business property is the difference between property and casualty insurance. Knowing the difference can keep business owners aware of what can and cannot be covered under these specific policies.

Property and Casualty Insurance 

Opening a business can be an incredibly exciting moment. While owners may be ecstatic at the idea of their dreams fully coming to fruition, they must also protect their new investment with insurance. This process can quickly become confusing as there are several different policies business owners must obtain to be fully protected from various perils, such as property and casualty insurance.

Property and casualty insurance, or P&C insurance as it is commonly referred to, are separate types of policies that are so closely related, that many business owners don’t realize they are actually two different types of policies. Knowing the difference between the two can keep policyholders more empowered and informed on their insurance needs.

Property Insurance

Property insurance works to provide coverage when a business’s assets or property are damaged or destroyed. This includes coverage for buildings owned by the company, as well as its contents, such as inventory, assets, equipment, and employee belongings. It can protect against loss through damage to that property, loss of income that you would have otherwise generated from that property, and losses in the form of money that you would not have spent if the property hadn’t been destroyed or damaged. 

There are also other more specialized forms of property insurance business owners should consider obtaining before opening their doors. Business interruption insurance, for example, works to protect a company against further financial losses when the business cannot operate due to property damage. Builder’s risk insurance is another more specialized form of property insurance that protects a property that is damaged while being built. 

It is crucial for business owners to obtain property insurance as soon as possible. Without it, the commercial property owner may be held liable for any damage that occurs as well as the replacement of anything lost, damaged, or destroyed. However, business owners must read their policies carefully as not every insurer provides the same standard terms and/or coverage.

Casualty Insurance

Casualty insurance is also sometimes referred to as liability insurance. Most often these policies are utilized to protect a business in the event it is sued or threatened with a liability claim from a third party for bodily injury or property damage. For example, if a business is found to be at fault for an injury that took place on its premises, then casualty insurance can be utilized to help cover any losses. Commercial general liability and premises liability insurance, for instance, are forms of casualty insurance.

Casualty insurance is often one of the first types of policies business owners obtain before opening their doors. This is because in most cases financial institutions require all companies they work with to already have this type of policy in place. Without obtaining casualty insurance, business owners can have an incredibly difficult time obtaining financing or even qualifying for the other types of insurance they need.

Insurance Coverage Attorneys 

Even if a business has all the insurance policies it could potentially need in place, it can still find itself in a difficult spot with its insurer if bad faith tactics are being utilized. Some insurance companies choose to undermine the insurance process through the use of dishonest methods to avoid paying valid claims. Because of these unethical practices, commercial property owners should take the time to consult with experienced legal counsel to ensure they have the right coverage in place and are not being taken advantage of unknowingly. 

At Raizner Slania, we are familiar with the many ways insurance companies attempt to thwart the insurance claims process to avoid paying the valid claims of unsuspecting and loyal policyholders. If you are a commercial property owner that needs assistance with an existing policy or if you find your valid insurance claim has been wrongfully denied, delayed, or underpaid, we can help. Contact us today to speak with one of our insurance coverage attorneys about your claim.

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