Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Own a building? Lease a property? What you should know about lessors’ risk policies

Lessors’ risk policies are commercial policies that a building owner or landowner secures when they lease space. Buildings used for retail space, warehousing or as office or personal space that others use need these risk policies in place.

In short, lessors’ risk insurance policies are as essential as lease agreements. Having them in place is a smart business practice. They are critical tools for protecting owners against liability.

From what and whom do owners need protection? They need protection from liability caused by lessees, their employees, and their customers. If these folks sustain injury on your property, or your property is damaged while they’re on premises, you’d be glad to have lessors’ risk policies in place.

What liabilities are typically covered in a lessors’ risk policy? These policies protect the insured from liability that results from property loss, vandalism, or theft, as well as claims for injuries (which can arise from lessees, their employees, and customers).

Many providers, such as Nationwide, also offer additional optional coverage, including:
•    Loss of income coverage
•    Money and securities coverage
•    Non-owned and hired-auto coverage
•    Signs coverage
•    Equipment-breakdown coverage

Nationwide also offers “Value Plus Endorsement” packages, which include 16 optional coverages for one low, flat charge. The package includes glass, money and securities, employee dishonesty, electronic data processing coverage, and more.

If your building or land isn’t adequately covered for risk such as what we’ve noted above, call the commercial department (386) 738-2000 or email and someone will contact you.

We’d be happy to help you explore the options that will ensure you have the most effective coverage for your business needs.

What should you include in your disaster supply kit?

Last week, Tropical Storm Erika gave Central Florida a good scare. Thankfully, the storm finally headed west into the Atlantic, leaving us bands of rain and closets full of bottled water.

You may have been ill-prepared for Erika, but you have a chance to right your wrongs. Fred followed her quickly, and your alphabet-knowledge should remind you that we are only on named storm number six, and hurricane season continues through November 30. Now's your second chance to get your disaster-supply kit ready to go.

Here are some essentials of a well-stocked disaster supply kit, that's ideally placed in a "grab and go," container. In fact, because we don't know where we'll be when a disaster strikes, FEMA recommends we have three kits assembled -- one for home, work, and in our vehicle. How do your kits measure up?

Water. Include a three- to seven-day supply of drinking water in your kit; at least one gallon per person for five to seven days. Remember water for your pet(s) as well -- a half-gallon per pet, per day for five to seven days is recommended. Commercially bottled water has a longer shelf life than containers of water you fill yourself.

Food. Supply your kit with at least three meals per day, per person, for three to five days. The food supply should include canned or dry milk, cereal, snack foods, canned vegetables, peanut butter, canned meats. Remember the special dietary needs of infants and the elderly.

Medications and special needs. Remember to include a five- to seven-day supply of medications and special-needs items such as diapers and formula for infants. A two-week supply of medications is recommended, too.

Personal items. What would make a week-long evacuation more tolerable for you and your family? Make room in your disaster supply kit for personal items. They may include personal hygiene items, toilet paper, and a change of clothes for each evacuee.

First aid kit. Prepare a kit that contains supplies ready for use in the case of a minor medical incident. Include items such as aspirin, latex gloves, sunscreen, first-aid tape, bandages, a thermometer, tweezers and antiseptic ointment.

Other necessary items. Round out your stocked disaster supply kit with other essentials, such as flashlights, matches, a portable AM/FM radio, a severe weather radio, flashlights, a manual can opener, cleaner/disinfectant and wash cloths, flares and jumper cables, and important papers in waterproof plastic bags or containers and cash.

A couple times a year, check your kit for expired or missing items, replace them, and keep the kit in an accessible place in your home. Hopefully, you'll never have to load it in the car on your way out of town, but if you do, you'll be prepared for the week ahead and better able to handle the crisis at hand.