Commercial Property Insurance
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Business personal property (BPP) insurance

Business personal property (BPP) insurance offers financial protection against lost, damaged, or stolen business property. It covers assets such as computers, furniture, tools, and inventory.

What is included with business personal property insurance? 

If you own or rent your workspace, business personal property insurance (also known as business contents insurance) is included as part of your commercial property insurance. If you run your business out of your home, the items you use to run your business probably wouldn’t be covered by your homeowner’s insurance because they’re considered business property.

Business personal property, also known as business contents, includes the things you need to run your business.

Look around your business space and you’ll see the items we’re referring to, as it includes almost everything but the building itself. Then, take a moment to consider how expensive it would be to replace these items.

Your asset list for business personal property might include:

  • Office supplies: Pens, staplers, and calculators
  • Furniture: Chairs, desks, and tables
  • Furnishings: Rugs, blinds, and curtains
  • Computers: Desktops and laptops
  • Electronics: Smartphones and tablets
  • Heavy equipment: Forklifts and excavators
  • Machinery: 3D printers or manufacturing equipment
  • Any other movable items used by your business, such as your retail inventory

For tax purposes, BPP insurance is a tax-deductible business expense, so it makes sense for small business owners to protect their tangible property with this coverage as the premium can help reduce your tax bill.

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What does business personal property insurance cover?

Business personal property insurance covers your real property, known as tangible assets, but not your intangible assets.

Your tangible assets are items you can physically see or touch, such as a desk or computer. For these assets, their value is easily defined and can be covered by a business personal property policy.

Intangible property includes things like trademarks or patents your business may own. Such intellectual property might also have value to your business, but they’re not covered by business property insurance, and their market value is much harder to determine.

What are my coverage options for business personal property insurance?

You can insure your tangible business property for its actual cash value or its replacement value.

If you filed a claim on a computer that was insured for its actual cash value, the insurance company’s valuation of the item would consider the price of buying the same type of computer, how old it is, how much useful life it had, and deduct the amount of depreciation to produce an assessed value for your claim.

If your computer was insured for its replacement value, the insurance company would cover the cost of buying a brand-new replacement.

Claims based on replacement value are going to be more costly for the insurance company, so you can often save money on property insurance by opting for actual cash value coverage.

How much does BPP insurance cost?

A small business owner calculating their commercial property insurance costs

Commercial property insurance costs an average of $67 per month, or $800 annually. This is based on the median cost of policies bought by Insureon's small business customers.

The cost is based on a few factors, including:

  • Industry and risks
  • Property value
  • Business location
  • Coverage limits and deductible
  • Claims history
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Who needs business personal property insurance?

Any business with tangible assets should consider business personal property insurance, especially if a loss of property would have a significant impact on your bottom line.

Retail stores are one example of businesses that benefit from business personal property insurance. A theft or fire that destroys inventory and equipment could put a bridal shop, electronics store, or other shop out of business.

Beauty and hair salons can have expensive equipment and products that would put the owner in a bind if they had to replace these items out of pocket. Likewise, consider the kind of loss a restaurant would suffer if it had to replace its tables, commercial ovens, and other items.

What other insurance coverage do I need?

While property insurance provides protection for your business property, other common business risks, such as injuries to customers on your property, require different types of insurance coverage. Here's a short list of policies that may benefit your small business based on your industry, location, and unique needs.

Inland marine insurance

While BPP insurance covers items kept at your place of business, it does not include your business property while it’s in overland transit or stored at an off-site location. For this you would need inland marine insurance. It’s known as a “floater” policy because your coverage follows wherever your property goes.

Commercial auto insurance 

Your property insurance doesn’t cover any business vehicles you may have. For this you would need commercial auto insurance, which covers property damage, legal bills, and medical expenses if one of your vehicles is involved in an accident.

Business interruption insurance

You might also consider business interruption insurance, which covers lost revenue and related expenses if your business has to close temporarily because of a fire or other catastrophic event.

General liability insurance

For many small business owners, general liability insurance is often the first insurance they buy. It covers common business risks like customer injuries, customer property damage, and advertising injuries. It’s often required by landlords and customers to lease a property and sign contracts.

Business owner's policy

A business owner's policy (BOP) bundles both general liability insurance and commercial property insurance, and may cost less than if you bought each of these policies separately. Together, it provides property and liability coverage for your small business.

Media liability insurance and cyber insurance

Intellectual property, such as trademarks or patents your business may own, are not covered by business personal property insurance. Small businesses that are looking for this protection, such as publishers and other media and advertising businesses, would need to look into media liability insurance or cyber insurance.

Get free quotes and buy online with Insureon

Are you ready to safeguard your business with commercial property insurance or another policy? Complete Insureon’s easy online application today. Once you find the right policy, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.

Updated: August 4, 2023
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