Commercial Building Vacancies – A Property Insurance Concern

These past few years, the economy has been merciless. We’ve seen homes lost, businesses folding, and the American public as a whole has been agonizing as a result. It’s a trickle down effect. When jobs are lost, people don’t have money to spend, and businesses must close their doors. When those doors are closed, commercial building owners don’t have tenants to fill their space. All too often, it takes months or years before a vacancy is filled. And when things can’t seem to be any worse, this creates a whole new potential problem from an insurance standpoint.

Under the commercial property insurance form drafted by the Insurance Services Office and used by most insurance carriers, there is a vacancy clause in the property policy form which alters insurance coverage for buildings vacant for more than 60 consecutive days. Insurance carriers will generally not pay for any physical loss or physical damage caused by any of the following perils:

• Vandalism
• Sprinkler leakage, unless you had protected the system against freezing
• Building Glass Breakage
• Water Damage
• Theft
• Attempted Theft


For any other covered causes of loss besides these, insurance carriers will usually reduce the amount they would otherwise pay by 15%.

If you own a commercial building which is currently vacant, contact your insurance agent to discuss possible alternatives or resolutions. As if the unrelenting economy hasn’t thrown enough at us, make sure you’re aware of this very important clause on your property insurance policy and stay protected!


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About Jimmy Kinmartin - Business Insurance & Risk Management

Jimmy is a California licensed Property & Casualty AND Accident & Health insurance agent working at the Olson Duncan Insurance brokerage based in Torrance and Irvine, CA. He grew up in Fullerton, CA and graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim and Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and currently lives in Tustin, CA. Have questions? Just ask! Or, follow Jim on Twitter at @JimKinmartin

One response to “Commercial Building Vacancies – A Property Insurance Concern”

  1. Jose says :

    Excellent post Jimmy! Very informative.

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