Computer stores sell computers, computer systems, and accessories including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, keyboards, printers, modems and routers, cables, software, computer desks, and numerous other accessories.
Property damage at your store and lawsuits claiming that you’ve been negligent in some way can threaten your assets and the long-term financial strength of your computer store.
But computer store insurance can help you mitigate your risks and protect your business. With the help of an experienced independent insurance agent, you can assess your unique risks and find the right business insurance policies from hirated insurers that specialize in what you do.
Why Do You Need Computer Store Insurance?
Computer stores typically sell products and equipment that people need to set up home or office computer systems. You may also sell your products online in addition to your brick and mortar store, and you may offer tech support and other basic services.
Just a few of the risks that your computer store faces include:
- Property damage due to fire, storm, burglary, or vandalism
- Lawsuits based on claims of injury or property damage
- Lawsuits based on claims of false advertising, slander, or libel
- Employee theft or crime
- Data breach or other cyber incidents
- Employee illness or injury
Your computer store business insurance protects you in these and other circumstances. Without it, any one of these types of incidents could cost at least tens of thousands of dollars. For a small business, any unexpected loss could quickly force you to close your doors for good.
What Does Computer Store Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance is the first essential type of business insurance coverage for a computer store. Your computer store insurance package may contain the following types of liability coverage:
Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance
General liability insurance provides coverage for costly claims and lawsuits. If your business is accused of causing third-party bodily injury or property damage (e.g., a customer is injured while simply shopping in your store), the CGL policy will pay for direct medical expenses as well as attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you must pay if you are sued. General liability insurance also provides coverage for claims of slander, libel, and advertising injury.
CGL policies also include product liability insurance. It covers damages and your legal fees if a product that you sell malfunctions and causes any sort of loss or injury for one of your customers.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Commercial umbrella insurance provides excess liability protection beyond the limits of certain other liability policies. This policy can be invaluable for that once-in-a-lifetime judgment rendered against you.
Cyber Liability Insurance
Cyber liability insurance provides coverage in the event of a data breach involving your business. It helps pay for the costs of notifying affected clients as well as public relations and investigation costs, and more. If you operate an online store, this coverage is essential.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Employment practices liability insurance provides coverage if an employee or former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
What Does Computer Store Property Insurance Cover?
In addition to liability coverage, you’ll also need property insurance to reimburse you when your physical assets are damaged or destroyed. You likely have owned or leased retail and office space, and perhaps even warehouse space. All of these spaces are filled with valuable inventory, furniture, equipment, and other personal business property that is susceptible to theft, vandalism, fires, storms, and certain other causes of loss.
Commercial property insurance protects buildings and their contents such as inventory, computers, office equipment, furniture, and all of your personal business property — whether it is owned or leased — if it is damaged by fire, smoke, theft, vandalism, or some other covered peril. You need this coverage to protect your expensive inventory as well as all the other contents of your retail, office, and warehouse space.
If you have a covered loss (damage due to a fire, severe weather, etc.) that forces you to temporarily close or relocate, business interruption coverage will reimburse you for ongoing expenses (rent, salaries, etc.) and lost income during the closure or relocation period.
You may also need some additional property coverage. Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for the following:
- Flood or hurricane insurance: Your basic commercial property policy does not cover flood or hurricane damage. Talk to your agent about flood and hurricane insurance if you live in an area that is prone to these events.
- Computers and media coverage, or electronic data processing (EDP) insurance: Pays for lost data and related lost income if your computers or network are damaged by theft, vandalism, viruses, or malware. It may pay for loss of data or software and physical damage to computers or hardware.
- Crime coverage: This protects your business from the costs of theft, dishonesty, and fraudulent acts committed by an individual employee or a group of employees. It also covers theft or vandalism by customers or other visitors.
- Utility interruption coverage: This provides income protection if you are unable to operate due to a covered utility (water, electrical) interruption.
- Inland marine insurance: This covers tools, equipment, and supplies while they are in transit. For a computer equipment store, this may mean the inventory and other items being transferred from a warehouse to your store.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: This provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages for workers who are injured on the job. Business owners are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees. Specific coverage requirements vary by state.
Coverage for Computer Delivery Services
If you offer delivery of computers or computer systems, you have a variety of additional risks.
- What if your delivery person damages a client’s home, office, or personal property?
- What if a customer is somehow injured as a result of the delivery person’s presence in their home or office?
- What if the delivery person slips on a customer’s driveway and breaks an ankle?
- What if your delivery driver causes a car accident?
- What if your tools, equipment, or materials are lost, stolen, or damaged while at a customer’s home or en route to or from a delivery?
In many of these situations you’ll be covered by one of your existing policies such as your general liability policy or your workers' compensation insurance.
- If a delivery person damages a customer’s home or property or is responsible for a customer injury, your general liability policy would respond.
- If delivery person were injured during a delivery, your workers’ compensation insurance would cover their injuries and reimburse them for any time away from work.
You’ll also need some additional policies or endorsements to fully cover your delivery operations.
Commercial Auto Insurance
You probably have at least one if not multiple trucks or work vehicles that you use to make deliveries. Commercial auto insurance covers your vehicles and drivers in the event of an accident or other types of vehicle damage. It provides bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, as well as collision, comprehensive, and uninsured motorist coverage.
Your commercial auto insurance can be tailored to your needs, and your coverage and premiums will be based on how your vehicles are used and who drives them. Each vehicle owned by your business or used for business purposes can be listed separately on your business auto policy, with corresponding coverage for each vehicle that can differ depending on the vehicle’s characteristics and the coverage it requires.
If you have sales people or other employees who drive personal vehicles for business purposes, talk to your insurance agent about your need for non-owned auto liability insurance.
Inland Marine Insurance
This coverage protects your equipment, tools, portable computer equipment, and other supplies from theft, loss, or damage while they are in transit to and from deliveries.
Professional Liability Insurance for Computer Stores
If you offer tech support, networking services, or other professional services in addition to selling computer hardware and other related products, you might need professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.
Your customers expect a certain level of expertise from you, and if you fail to deliver or are somehow negligent, you will likely be sued for damages. Consider the following errors or mistakes, and the potential harm to a client:
- A network you designed does not work as promised, or has serious deficiencies
- You perform a faulty backup that leads to a loss of your client’s data
- A network you designed is hacked or attacked by a virus
- Failure to complete a project as promised, on time, and on budget
- Advice you provide somehow lead to a financial loss for a customer
Professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) coverage, protects you when you make a mistake that financially harms a customer. Because errors and omissions insurance covers claims that are not covered by your general liability policy, it is essential protection for your computer store if you offer certain additional services.
Even if a negligence claim against you is unfounded, you will still have to defend yourself if you are sued. A professional liability policy will pay for your legal defense, including attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you must pay.
How Much Does Computer Store Insurance Cost?
Computer store insurance costs will vary depending on the size of your business and the coverage you need. A multi-location business with a large online presence will pay more than a single-location, brick-and-mortar only establishment. A store in a hurricane zone might pay more than one located away from the coast.
With so many variables (e.g., number of employees, amount and value of inventory, size and location of your building(s), etc.), insurance costs can be hard to predict.
But an independent agent can guide you though your options so you get coverage that meets your budget.
Find and Compare Quotes
An independent 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
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right computer store insurance. They’ll walk you through the handpicked policy options and explain the details.
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 omit 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.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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