Owning an apparel store or fancy boutique may sound like a dream come true for many people. But being a dress shop owner can also leave you vulnerable to some unfortunate nightmare scenarios.
You’ve got a lot invested in your store, from your time and talent to hundreds of thousands of dollars in physical improvements, computer systems and software, and your beloved inventory. Why risk losing everything to a storm, a fire, theft, or a lawsuit?
It’s actually pretty easy to protect your dress shop and your livelihood from risk exposures that threaten your profitability, or that can even lead to bankruptcy. With a little risk evaluation and a comprehensive set of business insurance plans—and help from a local independent insurance agent—you can protect your business and focus on helping your customers find the perfect dress for every occasion.
Something as simple as a turned up rug or a misplaced store fixture can injure someone in your store. If a customer slips, falls, or hits their head, a seemingly minor injury can empty your bank account in one fell swoop.
And after you’ve paid for medical expenses and other damages for the injured party, you could still be sued for additional damages. Then you’re on the hook for attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or court-ordered judgments that result.
Your lovely dress shop is susceptible to a number of other costly problems, as well. You already know that you’re a target for shoplifters, and what’s more, dishonest employees can steal merchandise or cash right out from under your nose.
If your cash register decides to take an unplanned day off, the inability to process sales could dramatically decrease your revenue, especially if it’s during the holidays or some other peak season.
You could also be plagued by worker injuries, a cyber attack, a fire in your building, or severe weather. The result: costly payouts to injured parties, costly repairs, costly rebuilding, and costly inventory replacement.
But with appropriate dress shop insurance, you’ll have somewhere to turn.
The biggest threats to your dress shop are property losses and liability claims. You’ll need to start your dress shop insurance program with basic property and liability coverage.
Property losses can come from a variety of sources.
When these kinds of events happen, you can also face loss of income if the damage renders you unable to operate or meet sales goals for some time while you make repairs, rebuild your store, or replace lost inventory.
Commercial property insurance: This is your lifeline in these situations. It covers the costs of repairing or replacing damaged or destroyed physical assets, such as your actual store structure (if you own your building) and its contents, such as computers, fixtures, inventory, artwork, furnishings, display shelves, and more.
Since dress shops carry more inventory at certain times of the year, it’s a good idea to talk to your insurance agent about how to properly value your business property for insurance purposes.
Excessive coverage is an unnecessary expense, and too little coverage could leave you seriously underinsured if you have to make a claim. Your agent can help you determine the proper valuation, understand the best way to cover it, and manage and amend your coverage limits depending on seasonal inventory fluctuations.
Business interruption insurance: This complements your property coverage. Imagine you have a business interruption due to a covered loss (e.g., a lightning strike that renders your cash registers useless for an entire weekend during prom season). You might never recover the lost sales and your future could be in jeopardy.
But business interruption coverage, or business income coverage, protects your earnings if your business must temporarily close because of damage caused by some type of disruption (fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown, etc.). This coverage is usually quite affordable and pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more.
Dress shop liability insurance: If someone is injured in your store or as a result of your business operations, chances are you’ll be held liable for paying for any medical expenses for the injured party. While it may sound surprising, there are numerous ways that someone can get injured in your store.
Trip and fall injuries are the most common liability claims faced by retail establishments. Medical expenses can be costly enough in these situations. If you are sued for additional damages, the costs can be insurmountable for a small business.
Commercial general liability insurance: This offers broad coverage for a variety of liability claims, and pays for expenses for the injured party as well as your legal expenses and settlements or judgments if you are sued.
Many small business owners purchase a business owners policy (BOP), which packages property, liability, and business interruption coverage into a single, affordable package policy.
You’re likely to need several other types of coverage to be completely protected from all of the risks you face. You can purchase endorsements (add-ons to your basic policies) or stand-alone policies as needed to fill all of the gaps.
Commercial umbrella insurance: This provides an important safety net for cases when a claim exceeds the coverage limit on your general liability policy. If you were hit with an extremely costly lawsuit, this policy would kick in when the coverage on your general liability policy was exhausted.
Workers’ compensation insurance: This is required for almost every business that has employees. It compensates employees who are injured on the job by paying for medical expenses and lost wages related to their injury. Your employees can trip over racks, injure their backs while unloading shipments, fall off ladders, and more. This coverage ensures their expenses will be covered in these cases, and prevents them from suing you for additional damages.
Crime coverage: This protects your business from any number of crimes that could be committed in your dress shop. This includes vandalism, shoplifting, and employee theft or embezzlement.
Sign coverage: This pays for damage to outdoor signs that are not attached to your building when the damage is caused by weather, vandalism, fire, etc.
Utility interruption coverage: This provides income protection if you are unable to operate due to a covered utility (water, electrical) interruption.
Employment practices liability insurance: This covers you if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
Do you sell dresses online in addition to your brick-and-mortar store? Talk to your independent insurance agent about the special risks you face and how cyber liability insurance can help.
In general, cyber liability insurance protects you from the costs related to certain cybercrimes. If someone hacks into your website, steals personal financial data from you or your customers, or causes other types of damage, cyber liability insurance helps to cover money lost and helps to pay for damages caused to your customers or suppliers.
Cyber liability insurance typically covers defense costs, settlements, and judgments related to a cyber liability lawsuit. Cyber liability insurance also covers public relations and other related expenses that you incur in order to salvage your reputation.
You can add cyber liability coverage to a business owners policy or a commercial general liability policy, or you can purchase stand-alone coverage. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine what type of coverage is best for your business.
Dress shop insurance might cost around $500 to $1,500 per year, on average, for liability coverage alone. Your costs are likely to be higher or lower than average depending on the unique characteristics of your business, such as the location, the number of employees, how much inventory you keep on hand, whether you own your building, and many more variables.
The amount of coverage you need and the deductibles you choose also impact your dress shop insurance rates.
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.
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right dress shop 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.
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 agent now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs.