Many brides-to-be have dreamed their whole lives about having a picture-perfect wedding. One of the most important aspects of this big day is finding the perfect dress. Bridal shops provide these women with gowns to choose from and alterations. They also ensure that the dress is ready and impeccable in time for the big day. If you own a bridal store, you will want to be sure to protect your business with a sound commercial insurance policy package. An independent agent can help you build a bridal shop insurance portfolio that can cover your business against its various potential risks.
2014 Bridal Store Industry Facts From IBISWorld
- There are approximately 8,450 bridal shops operating in the United States.
- These stores employ more than 31,000 people.
- The bridal shop industry generates about $4 billion in revenue each year.
What Could Go Wrong at a Bridal Shop?
Without a doubt, the absolute worst thing that can happen in a bridal shop is an accident or disaster that leads to a lost or destroyed dress just prior to the big day. In this industry, truly, it’s all about the dress. Brides-to-be spend countless hours poring over catalogs, idea books and Pinterest in search of the perfect dress for their wedding day. If that day comes and the dress is not available or as expected, the emotional distress and anguish the bride will feel is immeasurable.
In 2014, weddings in America cost an average of $31,213, according to the Knot 2014 Real Wedding Study. If the bride feels that her wedding day was ruined because of a failure of your shop to provide her with the dress she purchased or because the dress you did provide was faulty, you can bet that the resultant lawsuit will be expensive.
You Need Sufficient Property Damage Coverage
Most bridal shops are tastefully decorated and filled with hundreds of bridal and bridesmaids gowns. When you opened your shop, you needed to make a strong initial investment to accumulate the appropriate inventory and create a welcoming atmosphere. It is important that your commercial insurance portfolio properly protect this investment.
- Building insurance: If you own the building in which your bridal shop is housed, you will need this insurance to cover damage to its structure. If you rent your retail space and you have spent a lot of money on improvements, such as flooring, wallpaper, light fixtures and window treatments, be sure to speak to your insurance agent about improvements and betterments insurance coverage.
- Property insurance: This covers all of the business property inside your bridal shop including your inventory of dresses, display cases, mannequins, furnishings, computers, sewing machines and more. It provides coverage against such hazards as fire, wind and storm damage, vandalism, and theft.
- Flood insurance: Flood damage can wreak havoc in your bridal shop. Water damage to the dresses you have on display can render them valueless. It is important to realize that business insurance policies nearly always exclude coverage against flood damage. Be sure to discuss this risk with your independent insurance agent, who can help you secure a commercial flood insurance policy through the NFIP (National Flood Protection Program).
Your Bridal Shop Needs Appropriate Liability Insurance
Without the proper liability insurance, a lawsuit has the potential to ruin your bridal shop business. Liability insurance provides coverage for your legal defense fees as well as any associated court costs and financial damages. However, it is crucial that you have the right types of coverage. Some liability insurance options that may be of interest to you as you are insuring your bridal shop include the following:
- Commercial general liability insurance (CGL): This liability coverage is part of nearly all business insurance packages. It includes coverage for two important facets:
- Premises liability: This covers injuries or property damage sustained by third parties while they are in your bridal shop.
- Product liability: This covers injuries or property damage caused by the products you sell.
- Professional liability (errors & omissions coverage): If something goes wrong and you are unable to provide your customer with her desired dress in time for her wedding day or the dress includes faulty alterations or problems that make the dress unsuitable for the wedding, you are likely to be sued by the bride for the anguish and emotional distress this error causes her on her wedding day. Because the damage done is not actual property damage or a physical injury, it would not be covered by your CGL insurance, so you would need to have professional liability insurance in order to be covered.
- Auto liability insurance: If your bridal shop has a business-owned vehicle, you will need to cover it with commercial auto insurance. If, on the other hand, your employees use their personally owned vehicles to run errands or deliver dresses, your business is at risk for liability damages unless you have non-owned or hired auto liability coverage.
- Umbrella insurance: if you desire more liability coverage than your insurance provider offers, you can obtain additional liability coverage at a reasonable rate by purchasing an umbrella insurance policy, which will pick up where your other liability insurance policies leave off.
What Other Insurance Coverage Do You Need for Your Bridal Store?
In addition to the property and liability coverage mentioned above, there are other insurance coverage types that may be of benefit to your bridal shop. These include the following:
- Business income insurance: If your bridal store must close down for an extended period of time due to damage caused by a covered event, this insurance provides you with a continuation of income that will enable you to pay monthly expenses and employee salaries until you can reopen for business.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: This insurance provides coverage for medical expenses resulting from job-related injuries. This may be of significant interest to bridal shop owners, as many workers use sewing machines, scissors and other items that may result in injuries.
- Employment practices liability insurance: This insurance provides coverage if an employee of your bridal shop sues your business for wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment or any other illegal business practices.
- Employee dishonesty insurance: This covers your bridal shop against financial losses associated with theft, embezzlement or other illegal practices if perpetrated by an employee.
Be sure to speak with your independent insurance agent about these and other insurance options that may be suitable for your business.
Get Assistance With Building a Strong Bridal Shop Insurance Portfolio
Before your first customer says “yes” to the dress, it is important that you say “yes” to proper insurance. An independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network can help you understand your various coverage options. Because they do not work for any particular insurance company, these agents can shop around to find you the right coverage at an affordable price. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more about building a comprehensive insurance portfolio for your bridal shop.