An Introduction to Vacant Property Insurance in Kitchener
Between the industrial buildings just off of Homer Watson Blvd and the businesses operating in the heart of downtown, there are hundreds of commercial properties in Kitchener. And although it’s far more than a college town, Kitchener’s housing market, especially its rental housing market, still enjoys a boost from students from around the world needing shelter while they attend Conestoga College, Laurier University and, of course, the University of Waterloo – to name but a few of the renowned post-secondary institutions in Kitchener and the Tri-Cities area.
There are a number of corporations and private citizens purchasing property to rent out to students and non-students alike and leasing companies renting out offices, warehouses, and manufacturing plants in Kitchener. However, few understand the risks that come with owning a property that is used for full time or part-time rental when there’s a period of time when nobody is occupying the building.
Commercial property owners need to be aware that the properties they own, if unoccupied, may not be covered by their insurance policies. Leaving a home or business empty while renovations are being done, new tenants are moving in, or a business moves locations, are just a few scenarios when your commercial property could be deemed as “vacant” – leaving you unprotected.
‘Vacant’ and ‘Unoccupied’ Property
It is important to distinguish “vacant’ from “unoccupied”. Although there is not, as of yet, a standard definition as to what constitutes a “vacant” property as opposed to an “unoccupied” property, the following examples may help clarify the difference (please note these are NOT official definitions):
- There is little to no furniture or property inside the empty building.
- No one is visiting the location with regularity.
- The period of time in which the location will be occupied is unknown.
- There is still furniture on the premises even if there is nobody currently occupying the space.
- The location is being visited and inspected regularly.
- There is a plan and timeline for the space to be occupied again.
It is confusing. And whether your residential or commercial property is technically vacant or unoccupied, and the consequences of either scenario should be discussed with an experienced broker as every insurance company and insurance policy will have different definitions. Suffice it to say, having vacant property insurance in Kitchener is a necessity for commercial property owners.
The Need for Vacant Property Insurance in Kitchener
With a vacant property, the risks and potential hazards that could lead to severe property damage are increased without anyone there to observe and correct them. Those hazards could lead to:
- Fires from faulty wiring or other sources
- Flooding and water damage from water pipes
- Gas leaks and explosions
- Trespassing and vandalism
- Theft of contents and/or building materials (including copper piping if present).
Without vacant property insurance, not only are you personally liable for the damage caused, you could also be sued if someone, even a trespasser, is injured on your vacant property.
*TIP: If your property is vacant it’s a good idea to have security/surveillance monitoring it, to erect barriers to entry, and to notify police and fire departments that the building is vacant.
Why Choose ALIGNED
Our ALIGNED Advocates are experts in all the nuances of commercial liability and are here to make sure you understand your policies and are fully protected from catastrophic events that could ruin you financially.
Contact us for a quote on vacant property insurance in Kitchener today.