A common circumstance surrounding commercial leases involves the tenant making alterations, or improvementsto the rented premises. A strip mall retail location could be used for many different types of tenants. It is unreasonable to assume that the premises is already set up to handle any type of tenant from a clothing store to a restaurant. For example, a new tenant might have to build partitions, add refrigeration or install a kitchen.
The commercial property policy defines improvements and betterments as “fixtures, alterations, installations or additions that are made a part of the building that is occupied but not owned by the named insured, and that the named insured acquires or makes at his expense but cannot legally remove.” Since business personal property coverage insures the tenant’s “use interest” in improvements and betterments located at the rented premises, the amount of these improvements should be calculated into the limit you choose for your business personal property.