Property Insurance Types

You’re probably familiar with homeowner’s or renter’s insurance that protects you personally should something happen to your home or your possessions within your home. Chances are, such policies exclude home-based businesses, so check your policies carefully.

Businesses located outside the home need similar property insurance that covers damage to the premises and its contents. Commercial property insurance policies can cover your premises, any outdoor signage, furniture and equipment, inventory, and even property belonging to others that’s stored in your building.

However, a general-purpose property insurance policy might not be specific enough to cover some of the risks that your business might face.

Boiler and Machinery Insurance

This type of coverage, now often referred to as equipment breakdown coverage, protects against exposure from key pieces of equipment breaking down or causing damage. Any sort of machinery or equipment can be subject to malfunction. This type of policy doesn’t just cover the cost of repairs or replacement of almost any type of equipment you want to cover in your business. The policy also can replace lost business income as well as the value of damaged or spoiled products caused by the mechanical failure.

Despite the name, you can purchase coverage for small equipment, including computers, larger items such as kitchen equipment, and even production machinery.

Business Interruption Insurance

Earthquakes, tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes, and other natural disasters often strike without warning and wreak large swaths of havoc. Property insurance can reimburse you for losses of physical property, such as buildings, automobiles, and certain equipment. However, such coverage doesn’t provide any protection from situations in which you have a loss of income caused by property damage.

Business interruption insurance can reimburse you for lost revenues attributed to a property loss. You typically must purchase this coverage as an addition to property insurance.

Inland Marine Insurance

Property insurance typically covers items within the premises of your business. This means it might not cover items you frequently use outside your premises, such as laptop computers, cameras, and other equipment that’s easily mobile.

Even though your business might not have anything to do with shipping goods on water, you might still need specialty coverage for portable equipment, known as an inland marine policy. The scope of this sort of policy has expanded over the years to cover modern technology equipment.


Insurance policies are available to cover just about every imaginable risk and exposure your business faces. However, insurance can be expensive. A knowledgeable insurance agent or broker can help you determine which risks you should insure against and can often help you identify multi-policy discounts.