Chocolate stores like yours are primarily engaged in selling chocolate and other confections that are not made on the premises. Chocolate stores are common in shopping malls and strip malls, and offer the perfect treats for just about anyone during a busy day out. Customers also often visit your store to purchase gifts for various occasions.
You take great pride in your store, and in order to protect it for the long term you need to be aware of all of the little things—and big things—that can go wrong. With the right business insurance tailored for your chocolate store, you can put your mind at ease and focus on what’s important.
Whether you own a single store or a chain, an independent insurance agent in your city can help you find tailored coverage that protects your assets.
Why Do You Need Chocolate Store Insurance?
Your products might include chocolates and other confections, nuts, popcorn, gift boxes, and other specialty treats. The safety of the food products you sell is one of the biggest risks that you face as a chocolate store owner.
What’s more, accidents in the store, business interruptions, property damage, and lawsuits can have enormous consequences for any retail store owner.
Consider how the following types of events can lead to devastating financial losses for your chocolate store:
- Accidents, such as trips and falls in the store or parking lot
- Shopping carts or store fixtures causing injury or property damage in the store or parking lot
- Damage to your inventory due to some catastrophic or unexpected event (fire, smoke, weather, vandalism, etc.)
- Loss of income due to a catastrophic or unexpected event
- Employee theft of cash or inventory
- Selling faulty products,such as spoiled or tainted chocolates or products with unlabeled allergens
- Employee lawsuits related to discrimination or other claims
- Cyber breaches
All of these risks come with a hefty price tag. You need a comprehensive set of chocolate store business insurance polices that address these risks, and more, depending on the unique needs of your business.
Property Insurance for Chocolate Stores
Chocolate stores need property insurance that offers financial protection when you experience physical damage to your building or property and everything that’s inside, including your inventory, store fixtures, computers, and more.
If you experience a fire, vandalism, or severe weather that damages your chocolate store, you need property insurance to help you pay for repairing and replacing damaged property.
- Commercial property insurance protects your building and other business property in the event of a covered loss. It provides coverage for lost inventory, equipment and machinery, office space, office equipment, computers, store shelving, display cases, and more.
Often when you experience a property loss, you’ll also have a resulting loss of income if your inventory is damaged or destroyed, or if you cannot continue to operate while you make repairs to your building, computer systems, or other equipment.
- Business interruption coverage, or business income coverage, protects your earnings if your business is unable to operate because of damage caused by some type of covered disruption (fire, theft, tornado, etc.). This coverage is invaluable if you are forced to close your doors for some time in order to make repairs. It helps you pay for fixed expenses like rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more.
What Is Contamination and Spoilage Coverage?
Chocolate stores may need special property coverage for product losses due to contamination or spoilage.
While you are not making any of your products on-site, there are still a variety of scenarios in which products can become contaminated (e.g., rodent activity) or spoiled (e.g., refrigeration failure).
Contamination and spoilage coverage pays for certain losses if food products are spoiled or contaminated due to refrigeration breakdown, utility interruption, or some other type of foreign substance contamination.
If your local board of health or another agency forces you to close because of food contamination, your contamination and spoilage insurance may cover you for lost income during the shutdown period, as well as costs related to cleaning contaminated equipment and disposing of and replacing spoiled food.
Liability Coverage for Chocolate Stores
You can protect your business, your employees, and the general public from the costs associated with injuries and property damage that are caused by coming into contact with your business or your products.
- Commercial general liability (CGL)insurance protects you from outside claims of property damage or injury. If a customer sustains a serious injury on your premises, or if a supplier trips on an upturned rug and breaks her ankle, this policy pays for medical bills and other expenses related to the incident. It also pays for your defense and judgments or settlements if you are sued.
Product Liability Insurance for Chocolate Stores
Your CGL policy includes product liability insurance for certain situations. Chocolate store owners need to be concerned about the safety of the products that they sell, even if they have purchased them from outside suppliers.
Product liability insurance covers your financial responsibility for losses or injuries to a user, buyer, or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of a product.
- Example: If a guest has an allergic reaction to a chocolate purchased at your shop because it was not properly labeled as containing a known allergen, your general liability policy pays for direct costs (medical bills, etc.) as well as attorney fees, court costs, settlements, and judgments if you are sued.
- Example: If a guest becomes ill from eating a spoiled or contaminated food item, even if the contamination occurred at the supplier, your general liability insurance would cover the resulting financial losses (medical expenses, legal expenses) if you are named in a lawsuit.
It’s important to remember that any company that participated in bringing the faulty product to market can be included in a lawsuit and held liable for damages to the user. The resulting payouts for medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damage, attorney fees, court costs, and even punitive damages can be insurmountable for a small business.
Your CGL policy might cover some product liability claims, but that coverage may be limited and insufficient for your needs. An independent insurance agent who understands your unique risks can help you make sure you have appropriate product liability insurance.
What Other Liability Insurance Do You Need?
Your CGL policy provides broad coverage for a wide range of liability claims. But some types of claims are excluded from coverage or are not sufficiently covered by general liability coverage. You’re likely to need some additional types of liability insurance, including:
- Commercial umbrella insurance provides excess liability protection to any of several other policies you might have. If a customer injury in your store leads to an expensive lawsuit that exceeds the limits of your CGL policy, your commercial umbrella kicks in with higher coverage limits.
- Commercial auto insurance ensures that you’ll be able to pay for any physical damage or injuries you cause if you are in an auto accident while driving for business purposes. If you deliver to customers using a business-owned vehicle, or you simply run business-related errands using a personal vehicle, you need commercial auto insurance.
- Employment practices liability insurance covers you if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Cyber liability insurance is important for any business that uses, transmits, or stores electronic data. If you sell chocolates online in addition to your brick-and-mortar store, this coverage becomes essential. It pays for any costs related to a cyber breach as well as any related legal costs if a customer or supplier who was harmed by the breach sues you.
Other Business Insurance to Consider for Your Chocolate Store
You might also want to consider endorsements (coverage add-ons) to your basic chocolate store insurance policies. Or you may need to purchase additional stand-alone policies that provide the following types of coverage:
- Workers’ compensation insurance is typically required for any business that has employees, and pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees that are injured on the job. If a cashier, stock person, store manager, or any other type of employee is injured while lifting heavy boxes, slipping on a wet floor, or falling off of a ladder, workers’ compensation insurance pays for related medical costs and compensates them for time away from work.
- Crime coverage protects your business if an employee or a group of employees engage in theft, forgery, or fraud that damages your business. Having a small business with high-turnover part-time employees makes your business susceptible to employee theft. This coverage also protects you from the costs associated with shoplifting and vandalism.
- Sign coverage pays for damage to outdoor signs that are not attached to your building that is caused by vandalism, theft, weather, or accidents.
- Utility interruption coverage provides income protection if you are unable to operate due to a covered utility (water, electrical) interruption.
How Much Does Chocolate Store Insurance Cost?
A single-location chocolate store might spend around $500 to $1,500 per year on general liability coverage alone.
But this is a broad estimate and does not include property coverage and any other types of policies or endorsements that you might need to fully cover your risks.
In addition, a variety of individual risk factors will influence how much you pay to cover your chocolate store. These include the location of your store, the number of employees you have, and the coverage limits and deductibles that you choose.
Some small business owners can get the best rates by purchasing a business owners policy (BOP), which combines commercial liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption coverage into one affordable and efficient package policy. Other coverage can be added on to complete your comprehensive business insurance program.
Find and Compare Quotes
An independent insurance agent can work with you one-on-one to determine the types and amounts of coverage you need. Your agent can get quotes from multiple insurance companies so you can evaluate the cost and coverage options and make the best choice.
Benefits of an Independent Agent
Independent insurance agents simplify the search process for finding the right chocolate store insurance. They’ll walk you through some handpicked policy options and explain the details and options.
Most importantly, they’ll be there for you when claim time comes. They know the ins and outs of the process and will make sure your claim is handled appropriately.
The Lowdown on Online Quotes
Online quotes can be tempting. They are fast and easy to get—but are they accurate? And are you getting quotes for the right coverage? For business owners, choosing speed over accuracy can cost you.
Online quotes can’t and don’t see the whole picture. They can leave out important coverage that will leave you devastated if something unexpected happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities that an agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.