Suite Life Magazine
Protecting and Insuring Your Commercial Investment Protecting and Insuring Your Commercial Investment
There’s more to protecting  your commercial property than  just mitigating damages. It’s about  protecting your future. That’s why it’s  so important to understand what... Protecting and Insuring Your Commercial Investment

There’s more to protecting  your commercial property than  just mitigating damages. It’s about  protecting your future. That’s why it’s  so important to understand what an  insurance policy CAN cover and what  your policy actually DOES cover.

If you are a commercial property  owner, you should always plan for  unknown risk. Hiring a management  company can help. The professional firm  you hire should work closely with you  to streamline operations, minimize risk,  reduce costs, and increase asset value.

RISK MITIGATION 

Risk management is the key to  controlling your insurance expense.  Occasionally, the risks that seem benign  and inconsequential are the very ones  that snowball into something major  with serious repercussions.

Don’t be afraid to assess your  compliance. Risk avoidance usually  ends up being the costliest. Make  sure your staff is trained to identify  risk and understand the regulatory  issues that arise with reconstruction  or repair projects. Once a project is  completed, risk mitigation planning  should continue so that the experience  can benefit future projects.

SAFEGUARDS 

Insurance is complex and costs  are variable, based on events from the  prior year. Management firms rely on  the services of specialized brokers to  facilitate the best rate and coverage.  After assessing your risk and evaluating  your needs, these specialists will  recommend the appropriate coverage  or coverages. They include: Umbrella,  General Liability, Property, Business  Interruption, Lost Rents, Machinery,  Wind-Driven Rain, and Flood.

TENANT EDUCATION 

If you own a leased property, it’s  critical that tenants understand their  role in risk management. For example,  they must have the proper liability  and property coverage to protect your  interest in the asset.

AUTO INSURANCE 

Whether your business owns one  vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you should  consider purchasing comprehensive  coverage. That way, you’re covered  against damage by flood or flooding  from storm surge.

FLOOD INSURANCE 

Due to Florida’s geography and  proximity to water, flooding is a  serious risk statewide, not just along  its coasts. Flood damage is defined  as a general and temporary condition  of partial or complete inundation of  two or more acres or two or more  adjacent properties that typically are  dry. If one property is damaged, it is not  considered flood related.

EMERGENCIES 

In the business of property  management, we learn to expect the  unexpected. Your property can be  damaged or destroyed in an instant, which  can be devastating to an owner. Common  disasters like flooding from heavy rains,  strong winds, backed-up sewer lines,  fire, broken water lines, mold growth  and even vandalism happen all too often.  A professional management company  can expedite the recovery process by  facilitating tenant communications and  coordinating the necessary repairs with  qualified, licensed vendors.

STORM SEASON PREPAREDNESS 

Tangible assets should be  inventoried and documented with  photos and videos. All documents and  pertinent business and property data  should have redundant backups that  are uploaded to the cloud or otherwise  securely stored off site.

Shop insurance early. Binding  authority for the entire state is  suspended when a storm crosses  certain binding-restrictions boundaries  determined by the insurance carrier.  Knowing when coverage will be  available should be a priority when  purchasing an asset between June 1  and November 30.

Remember, there’s no time like the  present when it comes to protecting your investment. Tomorrow belongs  to the people who prepare for it today.

Mary Gentile, CRX, CSM, is  president of LandQwest Property  Management, LLC. With more than  20 years of commercial real estate  experience, she is active in numerous  professional organizations such as  ICSC, IREM, BOMA and ULI. Gentile  is also a NOAA weather ambassador  and sits on the board for REIS in  Southwest Florida. Contact her at 239-  464-3277 or mgentile@lqwest.com.

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