A shopping center is typically a group of buildings or spaces with individual parking facilities where retail stores, businesses, service providers, eating establishments, and other similar businesses are located. But having a strip mall or a shopping center is more than simply an investment; it is also a financial responsibility. Like all businesses, a shopping center requires insurance to protect its operations from possible liabilities. In addition, a shopping center and a strip mall not only offer recreational activities for patrons such as eating, entertainment, and sports but also employment and a number of other services such as cleaning, janitorial services, security, and more.
It is in the economic planning that a lot of consideration is given to the kind of tenants a shopping center attracts. As such, the success of the business determines the type of tenants that will be allowed to occupy the premises. While it may sound unfair at first, it is considered by many an advantage of having shopping centers and strip malls as compared to the alternative, which would be having smaller shops or boutiques run separately in vacant lots or buildings. This is because the presence of more tenants means more income and more customers.
One of the common exclusions included in a shopping center and strip mall insurance policy is liability coverage. A common misconception is that a shopping center and strip mall do not have any liability coverage. Due to a misunderstanding, this coverage is omitted from the original agreement between the landlord and the tenant. Liability coverage is needed to protect both the property owner and the tenants against liability that may arise from activities taking place in the shopping center or strip mall. For example, if a customer slips and falls on a broken glass in the shopping center, or if an individual slips and trips on a broken escalator, the liability of the property owner will be exposed to pay for the damages.
Another common exclusion in a shopping center and strip mall insurance policy is personal liability coverage. Although this coverage may sound reasonable, it could actually be considered an abuse of the contract. This is because a shopping center and strip mall may only have up to five tenants or may be a single tenant operating five stores. If there are two to five tenants, the potential exists for two to five lawsuits from any number of individuals claiming they tripped on broken floor tiles, tripped on a broken glass, tripped on dropped store carts, tripped over moving platforms, tripped while passing through revolving doors, or fell down a flight of stairs.
The third exclusion in a shopping center and strip mall insurance policy occurs if the landlord agrees to the establishment’s request to exclude liability coverage on the grounds that security patrols are inadequate. This situation arises when a shopping center and strip mall have patrons who are intoxicated or have been smoking cigarettes in the parking lot. The insured tenant will then file a suit against the property for damages to personal health and/or property. Although the insured tenant may be partially at fault for the situation, the expenses of the suit could easily overwhelm the remaining net proceeds from the sale of the property. If the suit is granted, the property owner could be held personally responsible for repair costs to the building. To avoid such an issue, it is recommended that any rental agreements involving liability not include a liability clause.
A fourth potential exclusion in a shopping center and strip mall insurance policy occurs when tenants decide to cancel their rental agreement. When this happens, the property owner could be forced to enter into a legal agreement with new tenants. The new tenants could then decide to cancel their existing rental agreement and move into the property without obtaining needed coverage. If one of the existing tenants decides to sue, the new tenants could be faced with increased medical costs and other damages.