There’s more than a million retail establishments from coast to coast in the United States. Some have only one storefront, while others are a part of a chain of stores located in multiple locations.
But no matter if you built your sole retail location from the ground up or you bought a privately-owned franchise, you’ll want to make sure your business is protected with a comprehensive retail insurance policy.
Fortunately, our independent insurance agents are here to eliminate the hassle of searching on your own by walking you through a hand-picked selection of top insurance policies to cover both your business and your employees.
But first, let’s talk more about the protection you need and why you need it.
What Is Retail Business Insurance?
Simply put, it’s insurance protection for any type of retail store owner. It’s a customized form of business insurance designed to provide business owners with the coverage needed to keep their business operational after a catastrophe or a lawsuit.
Retail business insurance isn’t just a one-size-fits-all bundle of coverages filled with protection you don’t need. It’s actually a package of insurance options that you customize to protect yourself against the risks your unique retail store faces.
These insurance plans can be fine-tuned to meet your needs and budget, no matter the size or type of operation you run.
Nearly half of all retail businesses that temporarily close their doors after a natural disaster fail within 5 years. A solid business plan coupled with a retail insurance policy can prevent large financial losses and allow your store to remain profitable regardless of what unexpected event comes your way.
What Types of Insurance Do Retail Business Owners Need?
Retail businesses can range from a small corner shop to a large chain of stores. When you run a retail business, there are a few commercial insurance policies you’ll need to secure, either to meet state requirements or to protect your business venture, like:
- Unemployment insurance: Once you establish and register your business with your state’s workforce agency, they’ll begin collecting state taxes and sales taxes from you. Through these taxes, you’ll automatically be purchasing mandatory state unemployment insurance.
- Disability insurance: You’re required by law to purchase this insurance if you have employees working in California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, or Puerto Rico.
- Medical insurance: The Affordable Healthcare Act requires small businesses with more than 50 full-time employees to provide medical benefits. An independent insurance agent can help you find affordable rates through group insurance plans designed for small businesses.
- Commercial auto insurance: If you offer delivery services and have a company-owned vehicle or a whole fleet of them, you’re required to purchase commercial vehicle insurance that meets your state’s minimum liability coverage amounts.
- Flood insurance: Most business insurance plans exclude flood damage from their coverage. If your store is located in a flood-prone area, you can protect it by purchasing a federally-backed business flood insurance policy. Independent insurance agents in the Trusted Choice network can provide you with more information.
- Business insurance: If you’ve taken out a large business loan or rent your retail space, you may be required by your lender or your landlord to carry business insurance. Whether or not it’s required, this insurance coverage can protect your store so and keep it profitable, even in the face of a disaster.
Retail Business Insurance Protects Property and Assets
Retailers insurance offers a number of coverage options to help you protect your business assets. If you own a small, single-location store, general property insurance may be enough for you.
Larger retail establishments and those that carry specialized goods and services require other coverage options to protect themselves from exposures. Some of those additional coverages include:
- General property insurance: This provides coverage for the merchandise in your store and property like wall-décor, shelves, racks, counters, and furniture. If merchandise is lost or damaged because of severe weather, fire, vandalism, or major theft, this insurance can provide compensation for your loss. In a retail setting, shoplifting is a major concern, more often than not. Depending on the value of the items you sell, shoplifting (or theft) may not be easily protected. Typically whatever was stolen is much less than your deductible, in which case it doesn’t make much sense to make a claim.
- Computer property insurance: Computers are often necessary for recording transactions and inventory. This insurance provides coverage for computer equipment used in your store(s) in the event some virus renders them useless or they need specialized service for repairs.
- Backup of sewer or drain insurance: While flood insurance is generally not covered, if a sewer or drain backup causes costly water damage to your merchandise or flooring, this coverage can compensate you for repairs or help replace damaged items.
- Signage insurance: The signs posted outside your store can be pretty expensive in a number of cases. If they’re damaged by a fire, severe weather, or vandalism, this insurance can provide you with compensation to replace them.
Retail Business Insurance Provides Liability Coverage
In today’s quick-to-sue society, you should never underestimate the importance of retail liability insurance. Any time you have customers in your store or using your products outside of it, you open yourself up to liability charges. Retail liability insurance can protect you with:
- General liability: If a customer slips, falls, or is injured somehow on your property, you could be sued for medical costs and damages. General liability insurance will provide you with coverage.
- Product liability: If a product or service you’re selling in your store causes injuries, illness, or property damage to your customers, you could be held liable. Product liability insurance will provide coverage against faulty products.
- Workers compensation insurance: If an employee is injured on the job, workers compensation provides the employee with valuable medical and income benefits and protects the employer from being sued for the injury.
Your retail liability insurance coverage also includes any related court costs and legal fees that may come up while defending your business against a liability suit.
Retail Business Insurance Offers Other Coverage Options
Retail insurance plans offer many addition coverage options, like:
- Money and securities insurance: Retail stores tend to carry a lot of cash on the premises. If money is destroyed, lost, or stolen from your place of business or en route to the bank to make a deposit, this coverage can provide compensation.
- Data compromise and identity restoration: This protects you from lawsuits if customer data is compromised or if you, the business owner or other named employees become victims of identity theft.
- Fidelity insurance: This will shield you from losses caused by the illegal actions of an employee, like theft or embezzlement.
- Loss of income insurance: If your store is forced to temporarily close after a covered event, this coverage can provide you with continued income to help pay employees and monthly bills. This coverage is usually limited to one year, but it can be longer depending on your needs.
- Utility interruption insurance: Some businesses cannot operate without phones, Internet, water, heat, or electricity. Utility interruption coverage can compensate you for damage to your property caused by a covered event, and in some cases compensate you for lost income.
Finding and Comparing Retail Business Insurance Quotes
Our agents will review your needs and help you evaluate which retail business insurance coverages makes the most sense. They'll also compare policies and quotes from multiple insurance companies to make sure you have the best protection out there. They'll hook you up — in a comprehensive and affordable way.
What's So Great About Independent Insurance Agents?
Independent insurance agents excel at matching the most appropriate policy to the business in need. Shopping around for insurance policies can be tricky, confusing, and time-consuming, and an independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
They’re also there to help make sure you get the absolute best deal, and the one that meets your unique needs. They shop and compare insurance quotes for you, and they'll break down all the jargon so that you understand exactly what you're getting.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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