You might have a small business where only a handful of people work. Or, perhaps, you have a larger facility that sees a lot of foot traffic. Regardless of size, hazardous events, particularly fires, might deal a fatal blow. Commercial fires might happen anywhere, at any time and could harm a lot of people. Then, when you start to pick up the pieces, you might have to rely heavily on your business owners policy (BOP). However, your BOP will only cover fire losses up to a certain limit. Therefore, the right risk management can help you keep fire risks low, even though you can’t avoid every risk.
BOP Coverage for Fire Damage
Often, your BOP can address the costs of damage caused by in-store fires. It might provide:
- Property coverage that pays for damage to your building and possessions. It might pay for stock and inventory, damaged furnishings and related items.
- Loss of use/Business interruption insurance will apply to situations where fire damage forces you to stop operations until you can recover. The coverage can help you cover essential costs that might still exist in the interval. It might help you pay client salaries and ongoing bills during the closure.
- If a client or other party gets hurt in the fire, they might sue the business for negligence. In these cases, general liability insurance might compensate them for their medical costs. Liability coverage might also apply if the fire spreads from your building to other peoples' property and damages them.
Still, not all losses will have coverage under your BOP. For example, if an employee gets hurt in the fire, then they might qualify for workers’ compensation. You will have to buy a separate policy for this loss.
Keeping Fire Risks Low in the Business
Any responsible business owner should take proper fire safety steps. The more you follow guidelines, the more you might reduce the likelihood of a fire occurring.
- Don’t burn candles or other exposed flames on the premises (unless you work in an environment where this is a common practice).
- Ensure that your building meets fire safety codes. You will need a smoke alarm at minimum. You might also need emergency lighting, fire extinguishers and even fire hose hookups.
- Place maps with escape routes in prominent areas of the business.
- Keep walkways clear and open.
- Have you electricity and HVAC systems inspected regularly, especially if you notice signs of malfunctions.
- Never use equipment or flammable materials in unsafe or non-specified ways.
If a fire does occur, don’t hesitate to contact your BOP provider. They can help you determine how you can best file a claim for the costs of the damage.
Also Read: What Does a Business Owners Policy Cover?