Over the past several months, across the country, many businesses closed for a number of different reasons. They included COVID-19 restrictions, storms that knocked out power, and executive orders limiting access to locations that suffered a loss.
When this happens, agents and customers need to be aware of a rise in the risk of loss caused by vacancy. If a building is determined to be vacant, certain risks have an increased probability to occur, such as:
- Sprinkler leakage, unless you have protected the system against freezing
- Glass breakage
- Water damage
- Theft or attempted theft
If a building is determined to be vacant for more than 60 consecutive days before a loss or damage occurs, then you might have some coverage concerns. Buildings that are rented must have at least 31 percent of their total square footage rented to a lessee or sub-lessee to conduct their customary operations, or be used by the building owner to conduct customary operations.
If these conditions are not met, the building may be considered vacant. Note: Buildings that are under active construction or renovation are not considered vacant.
Damage by other risks or perils, such as fire or wind damage, may see a 15% reduction in the claim payment if the building is considered to be vacant more than 60 days prior to the loss. It is important to assess the occupancy for commercial buildings on a regular basis to ensure compliance with these provisions.
Keyser wants to be sure its policyholders take action to be afforded the coverages available. If you own buildings that are vacant, call 877.381.3570 so we can help.