When you are moving offices, it’s not unusual to find that there is a gap between you taking legal possession of your new office premises and actually moving in. Another variation on that theme arises when you have moved out of your old premises but remain legally responsible for them for a few days or weeks afterwards.
In both these cases and others like them, there may be fairly significant insurance issues to take into consideration. These arise as a result of what are called “unoccupied property” exclusions.
Owning or Renting
If you own either of your two commercial premises (the ‘old one’ and/or the ‘new one’) then you will need to make sure that they are fully insured in order to protect your capital investment.
In the case of rented commercial premises, the issue is slightly different but just as important. You may have a legal obligation, as part of your lease or rental agreement, to ensure that the property is fully covered by your insurance against a range of specified risks.
So, whatever the status of either or both properties in terms of who owns them, there are bound to be insurance issues that you will need to be aware of.
Unoccupied Property Insurance
You may well have some form of insurance cover in place that would protect you against the costs arising from things such as a fire on your premises, burglary with associated theft and vandalism which might affect your possessions, or the structure and fittings of the property you occupy.
If you do not own the property, it would typically be the owner’s responsibility to have buildings’ insurance in place against natural risks such as floods, storms and subsidence etc.
In terms of your insurance, it is very likely to be the case that your policy will contain unoccupied property limitations. In other words, parts of your insurance or perhaps your entire policy may be null and void if you leave the property unoccupied for more than a specified period of time.
The reason for that is due to the fact that unoccupied properties are typically at much higher risk of certain types of problems, including things such as burglary and vandalism, than those which are occupied.
It’s possible that your policy will provide cover for situations such as public holidays and perhaps longer holiday shutdown periods. On the other hand, it might not and that’s something you should know about before you decide to leave a property you own or rent unoccupied while you are in the middle of your office removals logistics.
Why your Removals Company Might be Able to Help
Of course, in terms of what your existing policy does or does not offer, if you are in any doubt you should speak to your insurance provider.
However, a potentially good additional source of information just might be your professional office movers. The chances are, they will have seen and heard of all the possible combinations of the complicated occupation situations surrounding delays between relinquishing or taking up occupation in commercial premises. They might be able to highlight a range of additional options in order to reduce your insurance exposures.
If you are concerned about delays in fully vacating your old or moving into your new commercial premises, plus what that might mean for your insurance, you’ll need all the advice you can get and your furniture removals company might have some useful ideas on the subject.