In Boone County, Missouri, a 15-year-old driver crashed into both a restaurant and a nail salon. They damaged the external concrete wall separating the two businesses, breaking windows, and destroying much of the interior spaces to both businesses.
In moments, both businesses were shut down and would require immediate damage control and require a long-term restoration process. While news of a car slamming into a restaurant full of customers or an SUV tearing into a small business retail store may seem infrequent, according to the Storefront Safety Council, there are around 60 vehicle-into-building crashes per day in America, and over 20% of these types of crashes are due to operator error.
This type of car crash can have serious implications. They can be dangerous and often put employees, customers, or even pedestrians at risk. This one incident will begin a lengthy process of rebuilding and restoration to the property. A project full of costly repairs and downtime for the business.
Both business owners and commercial property owners will face sudden questions of who is responsible for damages and what insurance coverage is in place to handle the sudden restoration costs. So, what type of insurance coverage do you need to create a safety net for this unfortunate, growing trend?
What coverage do business owners need?
Whether you are a business owner who owns your building or renting your space, it’s imperative that you have the proper insurance for auto collision damage. You will most likely need multiple types of insurance to cover your damage and losses. Here’s a basic list of the insurance you should have:
- Property insurance will cover any of your personal property. This includes tools and office equipment, inventory, furniture, computers, and even outdoor landscaping like fences.
- General liability insurance covers a business’ costs for any liability for property damage or bodily injury from a customer. This can include their medical expenses, your legal costs, including any settlement decrees.
- Business interruption insurance replaces lost income while your business is temporarily closed after auto collision damage or other emergency losses.
- Worker’s compensation insurance covers your employees. In this situation, this coverage would offer benefits for medical bills for your employees if they were hurt in a vehicle-into-building crash.
What coverage do commercial property owners need?
If you are a commercial property owner who owns the building but not necessarily the business impacted by the crash, you will need both general liability insurance and commercial property insurance:
- General liability insurance covers your commercial real estate from a third-party lawsuit that could include injury and/or property damage while on your property.
- Commercial property insurance is set up for both the commercial property landlord or the business owner renting storefront space. In the case of a landlord leasing office spaces or retail storefronts, this type of insurance covers any disaster, including man-made auto collision damage to your buildings and equipment.
What will the driver’s insurance cover?
All drivers are required by law to have auto insurance. Included in a driver’s auto insurance policy is property damage liability insurance. Here is what that covers:
- Property damage liability insurance covers the cost of damage to anyone other than the driver. This is damage done to someone else’s property.
- This type of insurance provides coverage to the other party’s personal property, including any destruction to their business.
- The driver’s insurance can be liable for court fees, attorney fees, or any other legal fees associated with the accident for the business owner. It can also cover lost income for the business and other recurring expenses from the crash.
- While all of this coverage is helpful, remember that in Missouri, the minimum required property damage auto coverage is $10,000. It is possible that the insured can decide to increase their coverage to be more than $10,000 required by law.
Restoring your property
If your business or property does experience a vehicle-into-building crash, contact an experienced disaster restoration contractor right away. The contractor is someone who can protect your investment and complete a quick, intensive restoration to eliminate downtime.
The team at Midwest Comfort Homes is trained to respond the same day for all emergency board-up needs and can help coordinate your insurance coverage, as well as the restoration process needed to repair your business. Our goal is to get your business up and running as quickly as possible. Contact us today!