We all want a place to call home, and real estate professionals play a considerable role in making their client's dreams come true by guiding them through buying and selling property. The real estate industry involves a lot of specialized knowledge and requires you to get out of the office and venture into new places regularly—but you still need an office base to operate from. Running a brokerage exposes you to some financial risks that the right Ontario real estate office insurance can mitigate. The experienced team at Morison Insurance has the skill and knowledge to find the best real estate office insurance coverage options for you. Rest assured, you have financial protection against paying out-of-pocket expenses related to property damage and liability.
Ontario real estate office insurance, also called brokerage insurance, is a variety of business insurance designed to offer protection against financial loss for the specific perils your business is most likely to be subjected to. It's tailor-made to fit your unique insurance requirements for property damage and liability issues. Everyone experiences mishaps and misfortune in their lives at some point or another. Real estate office insurance allows you to rest easy, knowing that when it happens to you, you won't suffer severe financial losses and can quickly get your business back on track. It protects the significant investment of time, money and effort you've put into starting your brokerage and building it up to be a success.
What if your office or the contents of the building were damaged or destroyed by factors such as fire, flood, natural disasters, vandalism or theft? The costs of rehabilitating a building after a destructive event can be astronomical, not to mention replacing necessary equipment such as electronics. Your real estate office insurance carrier will provide funds to cover those expenses so you can get back to your routine as quickly as possible without harming your bottom line.
Like most types of business insurance, real estate office insurance is not a legal requirement in Canada. However, it's important to note that real estate agents and real estate brokers in Ontario must have professional liability insurance through the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO), which includes errors and omissions insurance, consumer deposit insurance and commission protection insurance. On the other hand, Ontario real estate office insurance is not offered by RECO. It provides coverage for expenses related to property damage costs and some types of liability that don't fall under professional liability, such as cyber liability and commercial general liability.
While real estate office insurance is not mandatory, going without it doesn't make sense from a risk perspective. No one can avoid every unexpected expense, and one unfortunate event could be enough to damage your business finances with the necessary financial backing of the right insurance coverage.
When it comes to Ontario real estate office insurance, professionals should know there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Your real estate brokerage is unique, so why would your insurance coverage be like all the rest? The insurance brokers at Morison Insurance have the expertise and dedication to find the right coverage options for your particular risk exposures, so your real estate office insurance is exactly what you need it to be. Here are some policy components and add-ons to consider.
Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) coverage is a vital part of most business insurance policies, and naturally, Ontario real estate office insurance is no exception to the rule. Commercial general liability covers legal fees and settlement expenses such as medical bills or replacement costs if you are found liable for third-party bodily injury, property damage, or personal harm.
The classic example of a commercial general liability insurance claim for bodily injury is that a client comes into your office and slips on a freshly-mopped floor, injuring their back. They choose to bring a lawsuit against you to pay for their medical bills and compensation for the income they lost during their recovery period by not being able to work. Or, imagine you are touring a client's home before it goes on the market, and you spill a cup of coffee all over an expensive rug, resulting in a property damage lawsuit from the client to recoup the expense of replacing the destroyed rug. In these scenarios, having commercial general liability coverage on your Ontario real estate office insurance policy would entitle you to insurance compensation for expenses such as your legal defence and the settlement costs, up to the limits of your coverage.
It stands to reason that a crucial part of Ontario real estate office insurance is financial protection for the actual office space. Like any other type of property, your commercial office property can be fantastic one day—and the next time, it has been severely damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster, a major fire, flooding, vandalism etc. Those events can be financially devastating if you don't have financial support from a real estate office insurance provider to cover the damage restoration or mitigation costs.
Significant damage or loss of your building and the contents, such as computers, valuable paperwork, artwork, furniture and more, can make it challenging to stay on your feet and continue generating revenue. It's necessary to recover as quickly as possible so you can get your business functioning properly again. Still, you likely will only be able to purchase brand-new equipment or repair a building that a natural disaster has ravaged if you suffer a severe financial setback. That's why it's critical to have commercial property insurance for your business space as part of your real estate office insurance. Your Morison Insurance broker will find out more about your commercial property to determine the most likely perils. They can suggest commercial property coverage options for your real estate office insurance policy that will let you have peace of mind knowing you're protected against unexpected financial loss due to damage or theft.
Suppose your commercial property is made unusable for an insured reason, such as damage from fire, natural disasters or vandalism. In that case, it will take some time for the restoration and repair work to happen so you can get back to business as usual. In the meantime, you would need to pay for a temporary workspace and deal with crisis management costs. Suppose your real estate office insurance includes business interruption coverage. In that case, your insurance company will protect you from financial loss related to the interruption of your standard business practices up to your coverage limits. It offers you the financial help you need to keep working during damage mitigation at your office, which may include rental payments and employee wages until your revenue stream recovers.
Nowadays, even business conducted in person tends to leave a trail online. We rely on cyber connectivity for sending and storing sensitive information that may include your clients' financial details, identity documents and other data that criminals would love to gain access to. That leaves your business susceptible to hacking and cyber extortion threats. Cyber liability is a potential addition to your Ontario real estate office insurance policy that helps you recover financial losses from payments for ransomed information and legal expenses should you be sued for a breach of privacy.
Real estate transactions can be complex, and there may be times when you need to entrust real estate agents and employees in your real estate office with tasks such as taking cash deposits to the bank. No one wants to imagine that they could be the victim of a crime committed by someone they trust, but it does sometimes happen. If money is stolen, whether it's cash or through another method, it's unlikely you'll be able to recover what was taken. With crime coverage as part of your Ontario real estate office insurance, you can recoup that loss through insurance compensation up to the limits of your policy.
Suppose your equipment is damaged in a fire or natural disaster. In that case, your commercial property coverage is the component of Ontario real estate office insurance that will help you recoup the costs of getting it operational again. But there are some scenarios where commercial property insurance doesn't apply unless you have equipment breakdown coverage added to your policy. If a crucial piece of equipment suffers a mechanical failure, it could prevent you from doing business as you usually do until it's repaired. You may not worry too much about a computer experiencing a loss since you can pick up another one and keep going. But equipment breakdown insurance also applies to certain building functions such as heating and cooling that could significantly affect whether anyone—employees and clients alike—is willing to come into the office.
There's quite a bit of variation in the premiums for Ontario real estate office insurance from policy to policy, and that's because there is such a wide range of factors that can affect your risk exposures and therefore impact the cost of your insurance coverage. When you request a quote for real estate office insurance, the insurance carrier assesses all your information to evaluate your exposure to many different risks so they can determine how much of that risk they are willing to take on. Some of the factors that are considered during an evaluation are:
Once we've had the chance to learn more about how you choose to operate your business, we can give you more information about how much you should expect to pay for real estate office insurance.
When it's time to find a competitive quote for the right real estate insurance, realty professionals can get assistance from the knowledgeable team of insurance experts at Morison Insurance. We commit to our clients very seriously and will work tirelessly to find the best options for your Ontario real estate office insurance coverage. We are a family-owned and operated business, and we treat our clients like family members. Our team knows precisely how crucial insurance is to your business's success. We will go above and beyond to ensure you have the real estate office insurance coverage your business needs to thrive. Contact us via the request form below for a real estate office insurance quote, or call us at 1-800-463-8074 to speak directly with a qualified Morison Insurance broker.
This content is written by our Morison Insurance team. It is provided for general information only. Insurance needs differ from person to person, and this article is therefore not a substitute for professional advice about your individual insurance needs which can be obtained by speaking to one of our brokers.