How Does Insurance Cover Commercial Water Damage?
Water damage is harmful to any property. It ruins building materials and personal belongings and if the damage gets bad enough, it can even cause structural damage. The longer water damage goes unattended, the worse the water damage gets. Water will continue to spread throughout the property to cause more damage, and mold can begin to grow within 24 to 48 hours of the initial damage. But while all cases of water damage are troublesome, commercial water damage, in particular, is especially concerning.
Water Damage in Commercial Buildings
When a commercial property suffers water damage, the business itself suffers. Depending on the amount of damage done, business owners may need to close their business and halt work operations for an extended period of time in order to have the damage repaired. Additionally, when a business is closed to customers, the potential for revenue is lost. Employees may also be unable to go into the space to do their work. Depending on the job, this could mean they are unable to work at all.
Water damage in commercial buildings can even be potentially hazardous to people’s health and well-being if there’s mold growth. For mold spores to grow, they need a food source and a warm, moist environment. Both can be provided in cases of water damage, because mold uses building materials like drywall as food. When mold is present, people exposed to it can suffer from negative health effects, such as irritation to eyes, nose, throat, lungs, and skin. If you have asthma or allergies, mold can have a greater negative effect on you. Because of this, it’s essential to have commercial water damage addressed right away. Otherwise, you risk harming anyone who inhabits the damaged space.
Causes of Commercial Water Damage
When it comes to water damage, the harm can be caused by various things. There are natural causes like flooding and storms and unnatural causes like faulty piping. Businesses typically see more foot traffic than residential properties, so things like toiletry, plumbing, and the HVAC system are used more heavily. This frequent usage makes them wear out quicker, so they’re more susceptible to malfunctions, such as leaky pipes, that can lead to water damage.
If your business is in an area that experiences cold temperatures, then the water pipes for your commercial property are at risk of bursting, which can also result in serious water damage. Pipe bursts happen when the water inside the pipes freezes into ice. When the water turns to ice, it expands in size and places pressure on the pipe. When the pressure becomes too much, it bursts the pipe open and spreads water throughout the space.
Insurance Coverage for Commercial Water Damage
It can be expensive to pay for cleanup and restoration for water damage, which is why it’s important to have thorough commercial water damage coverage from your insurance provider. You want to make sure your business can be helped in the event that water damage occurs. Not all commercial insurance policies are the same, though. Water damage can be sourced in so many ways and the coverage differs among available commercial insurance policies depending on the cause. You may need to add water damage coverage or get additional coverage on top of the standard policy to cover a greater range of water damage sources. When getting quotes, pay attention to what different companies offer and inquire about what the coverage options are for water damage.
Leaks and burst pipes are among two of the more common causes for commercial water damage, so business owners should especially make sure their policies cover such damage. However, slow, gradual leaks often aren’t covered by commercial property policies. This is because companies see this as negligence ― something that could have been prevented with proper maintenance unlike an accident, which happens suddenly and could not have been avoided.
Keep this all in mind when choosing what commercial insurance to get for your business. If you already have a business and commercial insurance for it, look over your policy. Review the coverage to see whether your business is protected against water damage and to what extent. Contact your insurance agent, and inquire with them what additional coverage ― if any ― you can get to further protect your business. While no business owner wants to deal with water damage, it’s better to be safe and have that insurance than to find yourself unprotected.
If your business ends up suffering from water damage, then you need to seek immediate assistance from a professional water damage cleanup and restoration service that helps restore damage in commercial properties. Professional technicians will begin their work by containing the damage to prevent it from spreading further and becoming worse. Furthermore, they have the correct equipment to properly dry your commercial property and restore or replace any damaged building materials. If mold has grown as a result of the water damage, technicians can address that problem as well.