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Business personal property

Business personal property (BPP), or business contents, refers to moveable items owned by your business. It includes office supplies, furniture, computers, machinery – basically everything except for the building itself.

What is business personal property (content)?

From small items like pens and calculators to large items like manufacturing equipment, it’s vital to keep track of business property to make sure you have enough insurance to protect your business.

Business personal property includes:

  • Office supplies such as pens, staplers, calculators, etc.
  • Furniture such as hairs, desks, tables, etc.
  • Furnishings such as rugs and curtains
  • Computers such as desktops, laptops
  • Electronics such as smartphones and tablets
  • Heavy equipment such as forklifts and excavators
  • Machinery such as 3-D printers
  • Any other moveable items used by your business

To estimate the value of your business personal property, go by its current market value. An accurate estimate helps ensure you’ll receive adequate compensation in the event of a covered loss. Without an accurate estimate, your policy might not cover all of your insured business equipment and furnishings if they are damaged, lost, or stolen.

The value of your business property will affect the total cost of your insurance and coverage limits. The purchase of business personal property is a deductible business expense.

Business personal property insurance is typically an extension onto your commercial property insurance. Commercial property includes your building and grounds; business personal property encompasses the remainder of your business property. Company-owned vehicles are not included in business personal property – they should be covered by commercial auto insurance.

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Tangible versus intangible personal property

There are two types of personal property: tangible and intangible. Tangible property refers to physical items you can touch; intangible property cannot be felt or touched. Tangible property includes computers, furniture, and machinery. Intangible property includes securities, bonds, patents, or intellectual property that can be bought, sold, or licensed.

Typically, a business only needs to include its tangible personal property in a BPP estimate. However, companies with intellectual property concerns may want to invest in insurance for intangible assets as well. Talk to one of our agents to find out more about protecting intangible assets.

Actual cash value versus replacement value

When choosing business personal property insurance, you may have a choice between insuring items for their actual cash value or their replacement value. Basically, the actual cash value is an item’s current market cost – its market price with depreciation taken into account.

The replacement value is the cost of buying a brand-new replacement for a lost or damaged item. Replacement value policies tend to cost more; the policyholder may also be required to repair or replace the item before seeking compensation.

Without an accurate estimate, you may find that your insurance limits might not cover the value of lost or damaged business property. Items covered by BPP insurance must stay on site to ensure coverage. For items that leave your commercial space, you may need inland marine insurance.

Business personal property – and BPP insurance – can get complicated. Get in touch with one of our agents to find out more.

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