When reviewing your dental office insurance policies, it is important to consider several different water insurance coverages that need to be included as a part of your Commercial Property Insurance Policy. As a dentist office you have several risk exposures regarding water that need to be taken into consideration. This is because the various insurance companies do not include coverage for all water damage claims that might arise in your office. This includes the sinks in each exam room, the water syringes on each chair, any restroom facilities, and the pipes that connect them all.
When examining commercial property insurance policies for dental offices there are three main water types of insurance that we look for as an independent insurance agent. Not all of these coverages for water damage are automatically included in a business owners policy by the insurance companies. And if they are included, the basic limits are rarely enough to cover a substantial water event that creates property damage to your business property.
Sudden and Accidental Water
The main coverage, which is provided under almost all commercial insurance policy forms is sudden and accidental discharge of water. This is the most basic water damage coverage provided by a commercial property policy. This coverage is designed to respond to the “sudden and accidental” displacement of water which causes a water damage event to the building or contents of the business.
An example of an insurance claim scenario that would trigger this coverage is a hose from a water syringe on a workstation coming loose and causing physical damage to the surrounding station and flooring. This coverage is commonly included up to the building limit and/or business personal property limit listed on your commercial property policy declarations page.
Water Back Up
The second water damage coverage that needs to be considered for every dental facility is the backup of the sewer and drain. This is typically an optional coverage on most business owners' policies with insurance companies that need to be added to the policy. When added, agents have the discretion to change the business insurance policy coverage limits. It is not uncommon that these limits are minimal with little to no benefit in the event of this type of water damage claim. This is simply bad insurance advice no matter how you spin it.
An example of a risk of water damage from this type of water damage event that would trigger a claim is the backup of water from exam room sinks. Imagine for a second that by accident a child or patient spits impression material into the sink. As a result, this material hardens over time blocking the main drainage line of the water from all sinks to the exterior of the building. This damage builds up and continues until all water is prevented from draining causing a backup of water into all the sinks and drains in your dental office space. The cleanup is NASTY! But this covered property damage falls under the water backup provision of your business insurance policy. With most businesses, the damage is minimized to a restroom or a few drains. However, as a dental office, you have multiple sinks with drains that are often located at or within your working space. Getting this cleaned up and the property replaced quickly is important to keep your exam rooms open for patients so that you do not need to touch your business income insurance due to lost revenue.
Underground Water Seepage
The last coverage that needs to be considered for your commercial property coverage is leakage and seepage from underground pipes. This coverage is specific to only certain carriers, but needs to be considered as the kinds of water damage in your dental office can vary greatly. As we mentioned previously, with multiple stations and sinks your practice has an underground highway of plumbing lines that can have slow leaks. What happens if one of those lines is damaged and causes water to escape from beneath your foundation or flooring and you don't see it for some time?
Without this vital coverage, you will be left to cover the expense of resulting damage out of your own pocket. With this coverage the pipes must be damaged from a covered cause of loss, however, the policy will respond to cover damage caused by water pressing on, flowing, or seeping through foundations, walls, floors, or paved surfaces. This does not include flood water coming from outside your office, but overall this coverage can be very important as some companies it can pay up to $100,000 in damages as a result of business insurance claims.
Don’t let water ruin your day. With multiple areas of concern in dental offices, it is important that you review all applicable and available water coverage options when reviewing your insurance products with an independent agent. To get your no-obligation review of your policy with an insurance professional, or to obtain coverage to include more robust water coverage please contact one of our independent agents. Click the image below or call us at 469.789.0220.
Bradley is a resident of Ft Worth. His experience in insurance dates back to playing in his dad's office when he was a boy, so insurance just kind of comes naturally to him. He truly puts the client's best interest first and is not afraid to have the difficult conversations that it takes to make sure that your business is properly protected with Texas Commercial Insurance. Give Brad a shout at BHancock@insurancefortexans.com.