Non-Operational Properties

If your business has been forced to close throughout the COVID-19 crisis, please ensure that you promptly notify your Insurance Advisor.  There are certain precautions that must be undertaken to ensure risk is effectively managed at your property. First and foremost, the best rule of thumb is to act with due diligence in protecting your property in the same manner that you would if you had no insurance.

Secure the Building

  • For hotels and motels, whenever possible, someone should live on-site and conduct regular risk management checks on the building as outlined below.  If no one is able to live on-site, we ask that regular checks of the building be conducted at a minimum of 3 times a day to create the appearance of occupancy.
  • For liquor establishments and restaurants, daily visits should be made at random times, including the evenings to demonstrate that the premises is continuously being monitored.
  • The individual conducting risk management checks should be maintaining a log with the dates and times that checks are performed.
  • Ensure that any stock or other valuables are locked up and secure.
  • Remove all cash from the premises.
  • Check all exterior garbage containers
  • Look for footprints around the property when it snows
  • Confirm readerboard is working
  • Keep a light on in various areas of the building in the evening to give the impression that multiple areas are occupied.
  • Remove all combustible refuse from both the inside and outside of the building.
  • Mail and daily newspapers should be picked up every morning or have them stopped or rerouted.
  • Inform the Police and Fire Department that the building is non-operational or unoccupied and make them aware of keyholder details.
  • Remove snow and ice from walkways and driveways leading to the building maintaining clear access routes.
  • All exterior lighting should be maintained in working order and illuminated at night.
To be conducted at least 3 times a day:
    • Check all storage rooms and mechanical areas.
    • Conduct walks around the exterior of the property.

Fire Suppression Systems

  • Fire alarms and panels should remain fully functional.
  • If the domestic water and sprinkler systems have separate valves, ensure that the domestic water valve is closed. Water should be drained as much as possible to prevent possible water damage from leaking pipes or fixtures.

Plumbing Systems

  • Every room should be inspected to ensure that there are no water leaks, broken pipes or other issues.
  • Check all public washrooms for unusual noises, temperature and backed up toilets
To be conducted at least 3 times a day:
    • Inspect all bathrooms for leaks, ensure that all toilet seats are up and plugs in sinks & tubs should be open.
    • Check the entire premises for leaks, excessive cold or heat, strange odors or noises.

Heating Systems

  • Do not turn the heat below 15 degrees Celsius to ensure that sprinkler systems and any water remaining in the domestic water lines will not freeze and cause damage.

Personal Safety

  • Avoid using elevators, if alone.
  • Check-in with an outside contact every few hours.


Click here to Download our HIP Non-Operational Buildings Checklist

If you have any questions about keeping your property secure, please contact our Risk Management department or your Commercial Insurance Advisor.