Nothing says spring and summer like the smell of fresh-cut grass. Your lawn mower store is what makes it all happen for your customers. They’re counting on you and you’re counting on their business. Small business insurance is the best way to keep your doors open so you can keep your customers happy for many years to come.
If disaster strikes, insurance is there to help you reopen faster. Here’s everything lawn mower store owners need to know about small business insurance — and how independent insurance agents make the process of getting it easier than ever.
Small Business Insurance for Lawn Mower Stores: What You Need to Know
Lawn mower stores, including many franchise stores, need small business insurance. It's as simple as that. But small business coverage isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s more like a blend of different coverage types designed specifically for your business.
An independent insurance agent can match you with companies that are already experienced in insuring lawn mower stores. They may even offer premade lawn mower store insurance packages, making shopping for insurance a snap.
Here are the types of coverage you’re likely to encounter while shopping for lawn mower store insurance.
The Four Major Building Blocks of Small Business Insurance
All small businesses, no matter their niche, need to consider buying business liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and commercial auto insurance. If you have employees, then you also need to buy workers' compensation insurance.
Not having these types of coverage can spell disaster and even drive your business into bankruptcy. Here’s how they work:
- This covers the cost of legal representation and any damages if your business is sued. Lawsuits are one of the biggest threats that small businesses face and a frivolous lawsuit can easily drive you out of business. Business liability insurance ensures that you can afford to fight the case. This is especially important for lawn mower stores because they’re selling dangerous equipment.
- This covers your business’s buildings, equipment, and inventory from theft, vandalism, fire, and other disasters. If these things are damaged or destroyed, commercial property insurance pays to replace them, so you can reopen as soon as possible.
- Personal car insurance policies will not pay for accidents that happen while you’re using a vehicle for business. If you or your employees are driving a vehicle on behalf of the lawn mower store — to deliver lawn mowers to customers, for example — then you need commercial auto insurance to be fully covered. Don’t drive for business without it.
- Workers' compensation pays for medical care and related expenses for employees injured on the job. Because lawn mower store employees will likely be working with dangerous equipment and lifting heavy objects, workers' compensation is very important for lawn mower stores. Workers' compensation requirements vary widely from state to state. An independent insurance agent can help you navigate the specific requirements your business needs to meet.
Coverage Boosters: Inland Marine Insurance, Umbrella Insurance, and Business Income Insurance
These four types of insurance fill in common gaps in small business coverage. They make your insurance more thorough and effective. Here’s what they’re for and how they work:
- Inland marine insurance: A type of insurance designed to cover things that are otherwise hard to insure, especially equipment or inventory that moves around and is exposed to extra risk. For example, if you use special equipment to assemble lawn mowers at customers’ homes, you’ll need inland marine insurance to ensure that it’s fully covered.
- Umbrella insurance: A “bonus” insurance type, typically very cheap, that covers any extra costs if you exceed the limit of your other business insurance policies. For example, if you fight a high-profile legal case that costs more than what your business liability insurance will cover on its own, umbrella insurance kicks in to pay the difference.
- Business income insurance: Also called “business interruption insurance,” this type reimburses you for lost income if your business has to close temporarily after a disaster. If your lawn mower store business is your primary source of income, this type of insurance helps you avoid bankruptcy during a long interruption.
The Nitty-Gritty: Specialized Business Insurance Just for Lawn Mower Stores
The following types of coverage are more fringe than the others, but they’re crucial for lawn mower store owners to consider:
- Environmental liability coverage: This covers legal damages if fuel or other potentially dangerous chemicals from your store leach into the environment. Cleaning up your mess is the right thing to do, and environmental liability coverage helps you afford to do it.
- Processor’s floater or bailee’s policy: A processor’s floater and a bailee’s policy are two different types of insurance with nearly identical purposes. Both cover your customers’ items while you’re storing them. If you repair lawn mowers in addition to selling them, these policies will pay to reimburse your customers if their property is damaged in a disaster.
- Peak season endorsement: Lawn mower stores often experience a peak season of higher sales in the spring. Peak season endorsements allow you to increase your insurance coverage during that season without having to pay higher premiums year round. This endorsement can be added to your commercial property insurance.
Cyber Insurance: Why It’s Growing in Importance for Retail Stores
Cyber insurance is a relatively new type of insurance that covers incidents of hacking or other malicious online activity. If your system is hacked and your customers’ credit card information (or other sensitive information) is exposed, then you could be on the hook.
Cyber insurance will pay to replace customer credit cards and make them whole for any other damage they might have experienced as a result of the hack. Many cyber insurance policies also include access to cybersecurity experts who can help you design more secure systems to prevent a hack from happening in the first place.
Even if your business is low-tech, if you’re dealing with credit cards, you need to consider cyber insurance.
Why Liability Insurance Is So Important for a Lawn Mower Store
Lawn mowers are notoriously difficult to insure. That’s because they’re dangerous pieces of equipment that are often being used by people without special training. (Think about how many teenagers are out there mowing lawns!)
This can affect lawn mower stores in significant ways. Business liability insurance, which covers legal fees and damages in case of lawsuits, is absolutely essential for lawn mower stores.
For example, if you assemble a lawn mower incorrectly and it hurts a customer, you’ll have an expensive lawsuit on your hands. If a lawn mower manufacturer ships a defective product, and your store is the one that sells it, you could get caught up in that legal crossfire too.
Even if a lawsuit is baseless, you’ll still need the resources to fight the case. That’s where business liability insurance comes in. Make sure you’re 100% clear on what your liability insurance does and doesn’t cover — an independent insurance agent can help with this — and don’t run a lawn mower store without it.
How Much Does Lawn Mower Store Insurance Cost?
The cost of business insurance depends on the value of your business and the unique risks it faces. Factors that will affect the cost of lawn mower store insurance include:
- Your store’s location, especially its crime rate and natural disaster risks
- The type of lawn mowers you sell (do you primarily sell to home consumers, businesses or both?)
- The value of your inventory
- The value of your equipment
- Whether or not you operate special company vehicles (e.g. delivery trucks)
- Whether or not you provide repair services or other extra services
- How many employees you have
Small business insurance for a lawn mower store will cost at least several thousand dollars per year, spread out over monthly, quarterly, or yearly payments (called premiums). A chain of stores, or a particularly large business, will pay significantly more. Expect that your business liability insurance will make up a significant portion of this cost.
Lawn Mower Store Insurance Discounts
All insurance is based on educated guesses about risks. The insurance company calculates the risk of you making a claim and decides how much they’ll need to charge you in premiums to offset those risks. This means that anything you do to minimize risk can also discount the cost of your premiums.
Here are a few easy ways to make your lawn mower store business safer and potentially lower the cost of insurance:
- Consider using waivers for repair jobs and taking other legal steps to reduce the possibility of a lawsuit
- Install sprinklers and take other fire prevention measures
- Install a burglar alarm, security cameras, and other loss prevention equipment
- Closely follow all manufacturer guidelines for mower assembly and handling
- Maintain stringent safety standards; ensure all your employees are well-trained and keep customers out of hazardous areas
- Use all appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), especially when working with hazardous materials or dangerous blades
- Make sure that anyone who drives on behalf of your business has an excellent driving record and do spot-checks to make sure they’re driving safely
An independent insurance agent can help you find even more discounts. Many insurance companies offer training and other resources to help business owners to improve safety. Taking advantage of these resources can also reduce your insurance costs.
How to Buy Lawn Mower Store Insurance, Step-by-Step
It’s easier to buy small business insurance than you might think. The process goes like this:
- Unlike captive agents who are bound to work for only one company, independent insurance agents will help you shop between multiple companies so you can get the deal you actually want — not just the best deal one company offers.
- With the help of your independent insurance agent, you’ll fill out at least one application and possibly multiple. You’ll answer questions about your business’s value, risks and more, so the insurance company knows what coverage it can offer you and what price to charge.
- After filling out your application(s), insurance companies will get back to you with offers of coverage, called quotes. Don’t go for the lowest price right away — it’s important to make sure your coverage is thorough and a good match for your business. Your independent insurance agent can help you decide.
- Sign on the dotted line and congratulations, you’re insured!
Once you’re covered, you can run your business with confidence, knowing you won’t be left high and dry if disaster strikes. Be sure to stay in touch with your independent insurance agent afterwards too. They can help you update your coverage as your business grows, keeping the insurance part running smoothly so you don’t have to.
Why Online Quotes Aren’t Always the Best Way to Shop
Getting your insurance quotes online can be tempting. Sure, it’s fast and easy, but are the quotes you're getting actually accurate? And are you getting quotes for all the different types of coverage your business needs?
Online quotes cannot give you the whole picture. They often omit important coverage, which may result in you being unable to get compensation if something disastrous happens. And they can leave out cost-saving opportunities such as discounts and bundling opportunities that an independent agent can help you take advantage of.
Instead of getting an online quote, find an independent insurance agent near you, and schedule a one-on-one consultation to discuss your options for the best coverage for your lawn mower store.
How Independent Insurance Agents Can Take Your Small Business to the Next Level
Independent insurance agents are small business owners just like you. They’re industry experts who handle the red tape for you, so you can focus on running your business. They’ll help you through every step of your insurance application. After you buy insurance, they can even help you file claims if disaster strikes, making a tough time for your business a little smoother.
Shopping for small business insurance with an independent insurance agent is shopping smart. Period.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
©2020, Consumer Agent Portal, LLC. All rights reserved.