Convenience stores are typically small “corner store” establishments that are primarily engaged in selling a limited line of products such as snacks, milk, bread, and other beverages like soda or bottled water.
Some convenience stores also offer toiletries, tobacco products, paper products, newspapers, magazines, and even beer or other alcoholic beverages.
Owning a convenience store can be quite lucrative, but it also comes with a number of serious risks from shoplifting and vandalism to fires and severe weather.
What’s more, if you own a convenience store you’re always at risk for being sued if someone is injured as a result of shopping in your store or as a result of some aspect of your operations.
That’s why you need a comprehensive convenience store business insurance program that covers your unique risks and protects you from large losses that could bankrupt you. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the policies that fit your needs and budget.
Why Do I Need Convenience Store Insurance?
As a convenience store owner, you face a lot of risks including the following:
- Property damage: Your building and everything inside of it including inventory, computers, furniture, fixtures, and office space can be damaged in a variety of ways. A severe storm, for example, can cause widespread damage to the outside and inside of your convenience store. And even a small fire can completely destroy your inventory and force you to close while you make repairs and replace damaged property.
- Theft and crime: Convenience stores are particularly susceptible to theft and crime from outsiders as well as from employees. You might have a lot of cash on hand making you an easy target for thieves and dishonest employees. Maybe you are open 24 hours a day, making late-night vandalism and crime a serious risk.
- Customer or general public injury: Your convenience store has a wide variety of visitors every day. Simple slip and fall injuries are common in your environment, and more serious injuries can occur too. And in the worst-case scenario, you won’t just be responsible for direct medical bills for the injured party. You could be sued and forced to pay for your legal defense as well as financial payouts to the injured person or persons.
- Employee work-related injuries: Whether your employees are unloading shipments and stocking shelves or simply working the cash register, injuries can happen at any time. If an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness, you’ll be responsible for paying for their medical bills and lost wages if they have to take time off from work to recover.
Convenience store insurance can help cover your losses in these and many other situations.
What Does Convenience Store Insurance Cover?
Convenience store insurance is a collection of business insurance policies tailored to the unique needs of your operation. You’ll likely need several policies to ensure you have a comprehensive program that covers all of your risks.
General liability insurance covers third-party claims of bodily harm and property damage. Because you have a lot of foot traffic in your store, this policy is essential to protect your assets when someone claims they’ve been injured because of your negligence.
A customer’s slip and fall injury would be covered by your liability policy as would an injury to a soda delivery person who slips and falls on a wet floor. Commercial general liability policies also cover any claims of advertising liability, slander, or libel.
Commercial property insurance is also essential for a convenience store. It covers repairs to the store building (if you own it), as well as repairing or replacing any damaged physical assets inside of your store.
This includes store fixtures and computer systems, inventory, furniture, signage, and more. If you lease your store space, you need coverage for the contents of your store but not the physical structure.
Commercial property insurance typically offers protection in cases like fire, theft, vandalism, severe weather, and natural disasters.
Your commercial property insurance will likely also include business interruption coverage. This coverage reimburses you for lost income if you have to close your convenience store to make repairs after a covered loss (fire, storm, etc.). It also pays for certain ongoing expenses such as rent, employee salaries, utility bills, and more.
If you sell alcoholic beverages in your convenience store, you likely need liquor liability insurance. Liquor liability coverage is required for any establishment that sells, services, or furnishes alcoholic beverages.
It pays for instances of property damage and bodily injury that result from selling or serving alcohol even if the impaired person did not drink the beverage on your premises.
That means that if a store clerk failed to check an ID and sold alcohol to an underage person who then injured another person while driving drunk, you could be sued for negligence. Liquor liability insurance pays for your legal defense in these cases as well as any financial settlements that you must pay out.
Workers’ compensation insurance is typically required for any business that has employees. It pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees that are injured on the job. Your convenience store workers could be injured while stocking shelves, opening boxes with a sharp box cutter, or repetitive motion at the cash register.
Commercial auto insurance is necessary for any business-owned vehicles. It covers your liability if one of your drivers is at fault for an accident.
If you don’t own any commercial vehicles but you or your employees use a personal car for business purposes (running errands, going to the post office, going to the bank), you need non-owned auto liability insurance to ensure that you are covered if you cause an accident when driving for business purposes.
Crime coverage protects your business if an employee or a group of employees engage in theft, forgery, or fraud that damages your business. It also offers coverage in cases of shoplifting and vandalism.
Additional Convenience Store Insurance Policies
If you sell gas, have a car wash, make auto repairs, or have a grill that serves freshly made food items, you’ll need a variety of additional insurance policies or policy endorsements (add-ons to another policy such as your general liability policy or commercial property policy) to round out your coverage.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for:
How Much Does Convenience Store Insurance Cost?
The cost of convenience store insurance will vary depending on the coverage that you need as well as your unique risks. Your location, number of employees, size of your store, and what you sell (e.g., snacks and newspapers only, or riskier products like alcoholic beverages, gas, or car repairs).
Your insurance company will also evaluate how risky you are to insure and how much you should pay based on whether or not you are open 24 hours, have appropriate security, and where you are located.
Generally, any convenience store with more risk exposures can expect to pay more than a less risky operation. A store with a limited inventory and no employees will pay far less for business insurance than a store that sells alcohol, has a grill or sells freshly made food, and has several employees.
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
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right convenience store insurance. They’ll walk you through the 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 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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