A building is a dwelling or premise type structure built to shelter occupants. This is a man-made structure and can be classed as personal or commercial for insurance.

Types of commercial buildings could include an apartment, condominium, strip mall, or warehouse.

Types of personal buildings could include bungalow, townhouse, apartment, condominium or split level.

A building can be owned, rented, or leased. It can have more than one occupant. A building such as a two-storey in an area zoned for commercial use, might have apartments for residential use on the top floor.

The construction of a building can vary from wood frame to fire resistant. This construction helps determine the rate of premium for commercial policies. This information is important to determine the cost to reconstruct.

Other rate factors include fire protection, crime protection, occupancy, neighbouring businesses that are to the left, right, and behind the location. If your business is next to a woodworking shop, then there is a greater possibility of a fire.

If you are going to rent or lease a building, then you need to review your landlord's requirements carefully. You also need to consider the costs of leasehold improvements. Your broker or agent can provide valuable information to you when you are developing a business plan. You need to be sure that if you own, rent or lease a building, that you have provided full information to your advisor.

A commercial building should have an appraisal done or a cost calculator completed to determine an accurate reconstruction cost. Some insurance companies are now offering guaranteed replacement cost if a calculator or appraisal is completed.

A personal dwelling also needs to be insured for reconstruction cost which is not market value or the value stated on the tax rolls. There are many types of calculators available for home insurance that are acceptable to the insurance company. If a calculator is not provided then it is not likely to receive guaranteed replacement cost.

Talk to your agent or broker about what type of coverage you have on your building. Take control of your insurance.