Lawn and garden equipment stores provide a variety of tools and power equipment to the public as well as to farmers, ranchers and other agricultural concerns. They also sell replacement parts and handle repairs for such equipment as tractors, chainsaws and rotary mowers. If you own one of these retail establishments, you will want to be certain that you are protecting your investment with a solid lawn and garden equipment retailer insurance portfolio.
2014 Lawn and Garden Equipment Stores Statistics From IBISWorld
- There are currently about 3,500 lawn and garden equipment retailers operating in the U.S.
- These stores employ nearly 23,000 people.
- Lawn and garden equipment stores generate approximately $5 billion in revenue each year.
Lawn and Garden Equipment Stores Need Sufficient Property Insurance
Your lawn and garden equipment store is likely to carry a number of very expensive items. With so much capital spent on your business property, it is particularly important that you purchase insurance in amounts and types that are sufficient to fully protect your investment.
- Building insurance: If you own the building in which your business is housed, your mortgage lender likely requires you to carry this insurance. It covers damage to the structure of your building and to outlying structures, such as fencing and storage sheds.
- Contents insurance: This insurance covers the business property kept inside your building structure. It includes such things as your inventory, décor, flooring, lights and computer systems. Property that is stored outdoors can be included, but it will have very limited coverage.
- Inland marine insurance: If your store rents out equipment, such as, tillers, shredders or other machinery, inland marine insurance can provide coverage for it while it is off premises and in the custody of your customer.
- Transportation insurance: The equipment you sell is expensive and its size and weight often necessitates delivery to the customer. Transportation insurance, which is a part of inland marine insurance, provides coverage for your equipment from the time it leaves your store until the time it arrives in your customer’s hands.
- Bailee insurance: If your store handles equipment repair services, you will want to be sure that you have insurance coverage for the items you are working on. Otherwise, you may be responsible for replacing expensive equipment if becomes damaged beyond repair while you have it. Bailee insurance provides coverage for other people’s property when it is in your care, custody or control.
- Peak season coverage: It is likely that your lawn and garden equipment store will have an increased inventory at certain times of year, such as in early spring. If this is the case, you may want to ask your insurance agent about peak season coverage, which will enable to you raise your property coverage limits during these busier times of year.
Liability Insurance Can Save Your Lawn and Garden Equipment Store From Financial Losses
A liability lawsuit can become very expensive for your lawn and garden equipment retail establishment. You can protect your business from this exposure by purchasing the right types of liability insurance coverage. This coverage protects you against legal defense fees, court costs and other financial damages if your business is sued for a covered mishap.
- Premises liability insurance: This protects your business if a third party suffers an injury or property damage while on your business property.
- Off-Premises liability insurance: This protects your business if a third party suffers an injury or property damage as the result of something an employee does while working off site, such as while making a delivery.
- Product liability insurance: The equipment you sell and lease can present a significant catastrophic-injury hazard. If a customer is hurt while using the equipment you sold or rented out, your business may be sued. Even if you can prove that the injury was caused by operator error and not a product default, the legal defense against the lawsuit can be quite costly. This insurance is therefore extremely important.
- Auto liability insurance: If your business owns cars, trucks or vans, you will be required to cover them with a commercial auto insurance policy. If you use rented trucks or vans or an employee uses a personally owned vehicle to do work-related jobs, you will need hired or non-owned auto insurance to protect your business from a potential liability lawsuit.
Other Insurance Coverage Options That Can Protect Your Lawn and Garden Equipment Store
There are a number of coverage options available to businesses. Be sure to ask your independent insurance agent about the following:
- Flood insurance: With very rare exceptions, business insurance policies exclude coverage for flood damage. Fortunately, you can supplement your portfolio with a commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Backup of sewers and drains insurance: Not all water damage is caused by floods. Ask your insurance agent about adding this coverage to your property insurance to receive compensation for water damage caused by sewer line backups.
- Workers' compensation insurance: Most states require you to carry workers' compensation insurance, which covers the cost of necessary medical treatment following a work-related injury. This insurance also protects your business by preventing a liability lawsuit as a result of an employee injury.
- Business income insurance: If a covered disaster forces you to temporarily shut down your lawn and garden equipment store while repairs are made, this insurance will enable to you receive a continuation of income that will permit you to pay salaries and monthly expenses until you are able to resume normal business operations.
- Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI): Workers sometimes sue their employees over perceived illegal business practices, such as harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination or breach of contract. EPLI covers your legal defense and financial damages if this happens at your lawn and garden equipment store.
Independent Agents Can Help You Find the Right Insurance Coverage
If you build an insurance portfolio for your lawn and garden equipment store on your own, you run the risk of having gaps in your coverage. Independent agents in the Trusted Choice® network can help by helping you identify your various exposures, explaining your coverage options and shopping around for suitable and competitively priced policies. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more about building an insurance portfolio for your lawn and garden equipment retail establishment.