Convenience stores are, as their name implies, convenient. They enable people to make a quick stop on their way home from work or while on the road so they can fuel up, grab a quick bite or pick up a few quick items they need. If you own a convenience store, you will want to be sure to shield it from financially damaging risks by purchasing a suitable business insurance package. An independent agent can help you build a convenience store insurance portfolio that can mitigate the risks commonly faced by business owners in your industry.
2014 Convenience Store Industry Facts From IBISWorld
- There are approximately 40,000 convenience stores operating in the United States.
- These stores employ more than 138,000 people.
- The convenience store industry generates about $35 billion in revenue each year.
Properly Cover Your Convenience Store’s Property
A major part of any commercial insurance portfolio is coverage against property damage. Insurance types that you may want to discuss with your independent insurance agent include:
- Building insurance: In most cases, you will only need this insurance, which covers damage to the structure of your building and to gas pumps and canopies, if you own the building in which your convenience store is housed. If you rent the space, however, it is possible that your landlord may require you to purchase some or all of this coverage. In this case, be sure to let your insurance agent know the specifics of your lease agreement.
- Contents insurance: This provides coverage for damage to the business -owned property inside your convenience store including product inventory, shelving cash registers, and computers.
- Boiler and machinery insurance: This covers repair, replacement and rental costs if the machinery used in your business should malfunction. Because convenience stores frequently sell food products, a breakdown of your refrigerators or freezers may cause food to go bad. In this case, spoilage insurance, which may be included as part of your boilers and machinery coverage, provides you with compensation.
- Crime insurance: It is no secret that convenience stores are often targeted by criminals for robberies. Crime insurance enables you to purchase the types of crime coverage you need so that your business will not suffer significant financial losses in the event of a holdup. Regardless, it is strongly recommended that you practice risk management measures such as installing security cameras and using other crime deterrents. Doing so can decrease your crime insurance rates.
Shield Your Convenience Store From Losses Related to Liability Lawsuits
Liability lawsuits can destroy your business’s finances. As you are building your convenience store insurance portfolio, it is crucial that you include the right liability insurance coverage. Coverage types to consider include:
- Premises liability insurance: This is part of your commercial liability insurance coverage. It provides coverage for injuries or property damage suffered by third-parties while they are in your convenience store or in your premises parking lot or gas-pump area.
- Product liability insurance: If a faulty design or manufacturing defect in a product you sell in your store causes illness or injury to others, you may be named in a liability lawsuit. This insurance, which is also part of your commercial general liability insurance, provides coverage.
- Pollution liability insurance: Most convenience stores also include gas pumps. If this is the case with yours, you will want to be sure to discuss pollution insurance with your insurance agent. This insurance provides coverage if an accident involving your gasoline pollutes the ground, water or air. Coverage includes restitution for property damage or illness caused by your pollutant as well as the cost of cleanup efforts.
- Liquor liability insurance: Each state has its own laws pertaining to liquor liability, but in most cases, businesses that sell alcoholic beverages are held to a higher standard of liability than other retailers when it comes to selling to intoxicated or underage customers. Liquor liability insurance protects your business it is held liable for property damage or injuries caused by an intoxicated person who bought the alcohol in your store.
- Cyber liability insurance: Gas stations are a hotbed for criminals who sometimes sneak devices called “skimmers” onto machines that accept credit cards for payments. Customers paying at the pump frequently do not notice the devices. Then when they swipe their credit cards to pay for their purchases, they give the criminals their credit card numbers. If they use debit cards, the hackers can access their PIN numbers as well. If this happens, your convenience store can be held liable for financial losses incurred by the customers, their banks and their credit card companies. Cyber liability insurance protects your business from facing overwhelming financial losses.
- Auto liability insurance: Whether you have a company-owned vehicle or your employees use their own cars, if an employee is on the road doing company-related business, your store can be held liable for injuries or property damage due to the employee's involvement in an accident. Your agent can discuss your coverage options including commercial, hired or non-owned vehicle insurance.
What Other Convenience Store Insurance Coverage Do You Need?
In addition to the property and liability coverage mentioned above, there are other insurance coverage types that your insurance agent may recommend. These can include:
- Workers' compensation insurance: This insurance, which is required in most states, is highly important to owners of convenience stores. It provides coverage for medical treatment if an employee is injured on the job such as while unloading boxes or during a robbery. In the unhappy event that an employee is killed during a robbery, this insurance covers funeral expenses and, in most states, provides death benefits to surviving family members.
- Business Income Insurance: This insurance provides your convenience store with a continuation of income if a covered event forces you to close it for an extended period while repairs are made. This coverage typically lasts for up to 12 months.
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance: This insurance shields your convenience store from financial losses if an employee accuses your business of engaging in illegal business practices such as sexual harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination.
- Employee Dishonesty Insurance: This insurance protects your business from financial losses in the event that one of your employees steals from your business or engages in other illegal behavior while on the job.
- Flood and earthquake insurance: It is important to note that coverage for damage caused by floods or earthquakes is specifically excluded from your commercial insurance coverage. If your business is at risk, be sure to talk to your insurance agent about purchasing supplemental coverage.
Get Help Building a Strong Convenience Store Insurance Portfolio
Purchasing business insurance for your convenience store can be a complex process, particularly if you want to be certain that you are getting coverage against all exposures. This is why it is to your benefit to work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents can provide you with the convenience of one-stop-shopping as they handle all your insurance needs under one roof. They can work with you to identify your risks, recommend and explain coverage options, and find suitably priced policies that meet your coverage needs. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more; you can soon start comparing quotes on convenience store insurance policies.