Owning commercial property is a great investment. Whether you use it to house your own business or rent the space out to other companies, you can save money or make money. There are also fewer limits on how you can utilize a property when you own it yourself.
However, there is a downside to managing a commercial property. You incur serious risk of someone getting hurt while visiting your property. That could result in massive medical bills and even a civil lawsuit for other financial concerns, such as lost wages. This risk is known as premises liability, and it is a common concern for anyone operating a business.
Thankfully, business owners can take steps to mitigate their personal risk, as well as the financial risk to their company, when it comes to premises liability.
Maintenance and attention to safety concerns both limit your liability risk
Any property you own requires regular maintenance to ensure that it stays in safe and habitable condition. From removal of ice and snow during colder winter months to ensuring adequate lighting and security in alleyways and parking lots, there are many steps you must take to keep your property safe for visitors.
Having a written standard for maintenance practices, as well as a safety inspection checklist, can help ensure that you catch any issues before they pose a risk to people visiting your facility. You should also pay close attention to reports of criminal activity in the area and take adequate care to ensure there are safety protocols in place.
Lighting around outdoor spaces can deter crime, particularly motion-activated lights that work with security cameras. Having adequate maintenance practices and setting a standard for safety can both protect you in the event that someone attempts to claim that you were negligent in your maintenance of the building or in the creation of safety standards.
Invest in a solid premises liability insurance policy
Business owners are always trying to cut their costs and maximize profits. Sometimes, this can involve attempting to minimize the expense of certain ongoing costs, like insurance. However, the cheapest insurance policy may not offer you the best protection.
Paying a little bit more can do a lot to offset the potential financial risk to your company if someone slips and falls or gets mugged on your property. Adequate premises liability coverage helps ensure that if someone ends up hurt, they will receive enough compensation from the insurance company to preclude the need to file a lawsuit against your business.
Premises liability is a standard concern for any company with facilities that are open to the public. By ensuring proper maintenance, setting a rigorous standard for safety and investing in a good insurance policy, you can minimize the risk to your business and your financial future.