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Mixed commercial and residential building insurance
Sometimes, insurance is not as cut and dried as others. Consider some of the many possibilities of insurance for mixed-use premises that are a feature of many small businesses up and down the UK:
a downstairs shop or other retail outlet has a flat or several flats above;
an office (occupied by estate agents, for example) might have a similar configuration, with residential accommodation above;
a ground floor pub might have rooms upstairs to let to bed and breakfast guests as well as living quarters for the landlord and his family.
these are just some of the properties likely to require mixed commercial and residential building insurance.
What is mixed commercial and residential building insurance and what does it cover?
Mixed commercial and residential building insurance is just what it says. It safeguards both the building and if required, the contents of premises. This may include some parts that are used for commercial or business purposes and others which are residential, protecting the owners’ various liabilities and, ultimately, the financial interests and income earned by the landlord.
In this way, it might offer in one combined package the building insurance for shop and flat together, in a single policy. If you are the owner of the premises, the structure and fabric of the entire building is protected against such major risks as fire, flooding, storm damage, impacts, vandalism and theft.
With the total building sum insured typically set at the current costs of reconstruction, the maximum settlement of any claim is designed to cover the cost of completely rebuilding the entire premises.
If you are the owner and landlord of both the commercial and residential parts of the building, you may also include insurance for those contents you own. If the shop, office, pub or restaurant, or the flat or flats above it, are let, then your tenants are typically responsible for insuring their own contents.
Mixed-use landlord insurance also provides indemnity against your public liabilities as the property owner. If a visitor to any part of the premises – a customer or otherwise – a tenant, a neighbour or a passing member of the public is injured or has his or her property damaged, you may be held liable as the property owner or landlord and ordered to pay a substantial amount in compensation.
Insurance for mixed-use premises may also provide compensation for loss of rental income if a major insured incident leaves either the commercial or residential premises temporarily unusable and unfit for occupation by tenants.
In the event of such an accident, if you are using the commercial or residential premises for your own business or as your home, the cover may offer compensation for business disruption or provide alternative accommodation in which to live.
Why may you need insurance for mixed-use premises?
Both the commercial and residential parts of your mixed-use premises benefit from the protection of mixed commercial and residential building insurance. Although you might arrange cover for both parts of the building separately (according to their respective uses), it may be far more convenient, straightforward and invariably cheaper to combine both aspects into a single policy.
A single mixed-used property insurance policy may also take into account any differences in ownership of the respective parts of the building. You might own the commercial premises from which to run your own business, for example, but own only the lease for the flat above, which you let to tenants and whom you charge ground rent and maintenance.
Why choose us at UKinsuranceNET?
At UKinsuranceNET, we have developed an expertise in arranging all types of property insurance – including insurance for landlords and owners of mixed commercial and residential buildings.
Given the relative complexities involved in obtaining cover for the latter, you might want to consult us for more information or for a mixed commercial and residential building insurance quote.
* 75% of all customers receiving an online quote in May 2017 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone, based on the information they provided