Commercial Property Insurance: A Guide to Basic, Broad, and Special Forms


Commercial property insurance plays a crucial role in the overall risk management strategy for businesses of all sizes. It provides financial protection against property damage or loss. However, there are different types of commercial property insurance policies available, including Basic, Broad, and Special forms, each with distinct features and coverage options. In this article, we will explore each type of commercial property insurance form and discuss their differences.

Basic Form Insurance

Basic form insurance offers the most limited coverage among commercial property insurance policies. It specifically covers damage or loss caused by specific perils, such as fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, and vandalism. This type of coverage is often referred to as “named perils coverage” because it only includes the perils explicitly named in the policy.

While basic form insurance is generally less expensive, it does have its disadvantages. It does not cover all possible causes of property damage or loss. For example, it may not cover water damage or theft if those perils are not explicitly mentioned in the policy.

Fire Damage

Broad Form Insurance

Broad form insurance provides more extensive coverage compared to basic form insurance. In addition to the perils covered by basic form insurance, broad form policies may also protect against damage caused by falling objects, weight of snow or ice, and accidental discharge of water or steam.

Broad form insurance offers businesses a higher level of protection, but it still excludes certain perils. It is essential for business owners to carefully review their policies to understand the exclusions and ensure they have the coverage they need.

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Water Damage

Special Form Insurance

Special form insurance is the most comprehensive type of commercial property insurance coverage. It typically covers damage or loss caused by any peril unless specifically excluded in the policy. Special form insurance is often referred to as “all-risk coverage” because it provides coverage against all risks unless stated otherwise.

While special form insurance offers extensive coverage, it may have exclusions for certain perils or types of property. Business owners should review their policies carefully to ensure they have the necessary coverage.

Business Interruption

Choosing the Right Insurance Form

When selecting a commercial property insurance policy, it is crucial to consider the level of protection your business requires. Basic form insurance may be suitable for businesses with low property damage risk, while broad form insurance is a good choice for moderate-risk companies. Special form insurance is generally recommended for businesses with high-risk properties or significant risk exposure.

It is also important to assess the specific risks faced by your business. If your business is located in a disaster-prone area, you may want to consider a special form policy that covers a broader range of perils. Similarly, if your business is in an area prone to flooding or earthquakes, considering additional coverage, such as flood insurance or a DIC (Differential-in-Conditions) policy, is essential.

Choosing the right form of insurance requires careful consideration of your business needs and risks. For expert guidance and assistance in selecting the appropriate commercial property insurance policy, reach out to Garrity Traina at

or request an instant proposal here.


Commercial property insurance is an essential aspect of protecting your business against property damage or loss. Understanding the differences between Basic, Broad, and Special forms of insurance can help you make an informed decision about the right coverage for your business. Remember to review your policy carefully, assess your business’s specific risks, and consult with experts to ensure you have the necessary coverage to safeguard your investments.

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