If you run a building material store, you know the important role your business has in the building industry. Whether supplying raw materials to the general public or to contractors, you should know that there are a number of risk factors like a fire burning your inventory, employee or customer injuries, vandalism and more. The key to protecting yourself is to find the right comprehensive insurance policy, and an independent insurance agent is perfect for the job.
When it comes to understanding the somewhat complex world of commercial insurance, working with an independent insurance agent is a smart decision. Independent insurance agents have the expertise and resources available to make sure you can make the right choices when it comes to getting the coverage your building material store needs.
Common Risks Facing Building Material Stores
While selling building materials isn’t nearly as risky as installing them, if your business offers delivery, installation, or even assistance in loading materials into a customer's car, you face a variety of potential risks.
- An employee is injured while operating machinery like a forklift or loading into pickup trucks.
- A customer Is injured attempting to move materials themselves within property lines.
- Materials are damaged or lost while driving products from one place to another.
- A client is dissatisfied with the finished product.
- If you offer installation, you run the risk of damage to the building/property where you’re installing the materials.
Insurance Policies for Building Material Stores
A building material store needs insurance coverage for every aspect of the business. Sold under a Business Owners Policy (BOP), your building material store can get coverage that prevents significant financial liabilities should a covered event occurs. Most BOPs provide the following coverages:
- Commercial property coverage
- General liability insurance
- Workers' compensation
- Commercial automobile insurance
- Umbrella insurance
|Type of Coverage||Description of Coverage||Examples|
|Commercial Property Coverage||Your building material store needs property insurance in situations where the business needs to be reimbursed following property damage or lost property. This policy covers the cost of replacing your business equipment or other property when it's lost/damaged by fire, theft, vandalism, or natural disasters. Property coverage may include equipment, inventory, offices/premises, supplies, tools.||Smoke damage from an electrical fire ruined your inventory and interrupted your ability to handle customers until your showroom was rebuilt. A burglar broke into your premises and stole your computer equipment.|
|General Liability Insurance||General liability insurance covers your building material store from some of the most common liabilities. This coverage is particularly useful when you need to compensate third-party lawsuits from third-party non-employees such as customers or contractors. General liability covers legal bills and settlements resulting from personal injury, damaged property, advertising injury, or reputational damage. Because your building material store may hire installers to work on other people's property, this type of insurance coverage may prove useful when damage or physical injury is caused to third parties.||A customer hurts themselves or damages their property while in your building material store or work yard and files a claim against you for medical bills. A competitor accuses your company of slander or libel and takes your building material store to court. A customer runs over a nail on your property and needs a new tire.|
|Workers' Compensation||Workers' compensation insurance is mandatory in most states for any non-owner employees. It is a broad form of coverage that protects your building material store from any number of costs arising from the workplace. This coverage is important for claims, as lawsuits are generally avoided if injured workers file a claim through workers' compensation. Workers' compensation can pay for lawsuits, funeral costs, medical bills, ongoing wages for injured or sick employees, and support payment for any dependents.||A worker tears a ligament while climbing a ladder. An employee develops an illness due to exposure to lead or other hazardous building materials. Your receptionist has to take time off for developing carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) symptoms.|
|Commercial Automobile Insurance||A commercial automobile insurance policy can protect your building material store from losses that arise when vehicle accidents happen.||Your delivery driver accidentally runs over a customer’s parked motorcycle.|
|Umbrella Insurance||Insurance is customizable for a building material store depending on its needs. Most insurers offer umbrella insurance, which increases the liability coverage of existing insurance policies by paying a single premium. This coverage can include general liability insurance, professional liability, or commercial auto insurance. The value of an umbrella is that it pays for any lawsuits that exceed the current limits of your coverage, typically in increments of $1 million for covered events. This can be useful if, for example, you are being sued by multiple parties.||A pallet falls on your showroom floor and injures multiple employees at your building material store, leading to lawsuits that exceed your general liability policy.|
Additional Forms of Insurance for Building Material Stores
Because insurance is available for a wide variety of activities, you can boost or customize your coverage to safeguard your building material store. Discuss the following coverages with an independent insurance agent to see if you can add these policies to your business:
- Cyber liability insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- Equipment breakdown insurance
- Employee dishonesty coverage
- Earthquake/flood/wildfire insurance
- Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance
- Product liability insurance
How to Find the Best Insurance for Your Building Material Store
Insurance policies can be complex, and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
When it comes time to purchase insurance, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the nitty-gritty so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And should you need to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Why Online Quotes Aren’t Always the Best Way to Shop
Getting your insurance quotes online can be tempting. Sure, it’s fast and easy, but are the quotes you are getting actually accurate? And are you getting quotes for all the different types of coverage your business needs?
Online quotes cannot give you the whole picture. They often omit important coverage, which may result in you being unable to get compensation if something disastrous happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities such as discounts and bundling opportunities that an independent agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent near you, and schedule a one-on-one consultation to discuss your options for the best coverage for your building material store.
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