Commercial real estate businesses are suffering due to COVID-19’s impact on the economy. Commercial property owners and business partners are struggling to recover their losses. One of the venues for recovery may lie in their insurance claims.
This is where your Certificate of Insurance (COI) will come in handy. It is a summary of your business insurance policy: the type, the insured parties, the coverage amount, and the policy’s expiration date. Requesting certificates of liability insurance is an important business practice with your commercial property partners. This includes lessors, contractors, and tenants. The COI is proof that you and the other stakeholders have insurance coverage from liabilities or losses.
Here are some insurance policy details to consider. They may appear in the COI if they are included in the coverage. This will help guide you when filing your claims due to losses caused by the pandemic.
Named Peril Policy
This covers property damage and financial losses from stipulated perils in the policy. Perils such as floods or fires are usually mentioned. However, contagions may most likely be excluded in the policy. Government intervention might be able to help. Some states are currently trying to include it in the coverage. So commercial property managers can file business interruption or rental loss claims.
“All Risks” Policy
This automatically covers any peril that are not expressly excluded in the policy. Earthquake, war, infestation, pollution, wear and tear, nuclear hazards, market loss, or government seizure are usually mentioned as peril exclusions. Business losses due to COVID-19 may get coverage if “disease outbreak” is not excluded. You could file claims if the insurer or the court rules that “physical loss” occurred in the commercial property.
“Loss Due to Virus or Bacteria” Exclusion
This means that the insurer is not liable “for loss or damage caused by or resulting from any virus, bacterium or other microorganisms that induces or is capable of inducing physical distress, illness or disease.” Check your commercial property policy if it has this exclusion. If there is, you may not claim for business interruption losses.
Communicable Diseases Coverage Extension
This coverage extension from your commercial property insurance will only apply if:
- The communicable disease is actually present in your insured property.
- There are access restrictions to your commercial property. As ordered by an authorized governmental agency or by a decision of an Officer of the Insured.
This extension can cover the following commercial property costs:
- Business interruption losses and extra expenses due to the presence of disease
- Cleanup, removal, and disposal of the presence of disease
- Cost from reputation management as needed
The need for COI tracking
Now is the time to review your insurance policy for your commercial real estate property. You need to determine what kind of coverage applies to protect your assets. You should also understand the risks that can make you liable to your stakeholders. Tracking certificates can help you but it can be tedious and time-consuming. You have to collect and verify every COI from your commercial property partners.
There are professional services that can do this task for you. Using a full-on tracking system, they can request and organize certificates on your behalf. They can automatically update and inform you of any changes in the insurance policy. They are expertly trained to assist you with all your COI compliance requirements. Schedule a free demonstration to find out more on how COI tracking can help your business.
Proper COI tracking gives you a better standing among your stakeholders and partners. Giving you have more time to focus on improving your commercial property business.