Medical equipment and supply stores sell a variety of surgical, medical, and dental instruments designed for home use as well as rental equipment like wheelchairs, crutches, portable oxygen equipment, and more.
Your products are extremely important to your customers, but your line of work also presents a variety of serious risks. In order to protect your business from all that can go wrong, you need a customized package of business insurance policies designed for medical equipment stores.
An independent insurance agent can help you find insurance companies and policies that specialize in your line of work so you can be assured that your coverage matches your risks.
Why Do You Need Medical Equipment and Supply Store Insurance?
Medical equipment and supply stores provide home medical equipment and supplies directly to the patient. You might also offer products for rent, as well as delivering, assembling, and maintaining the products, and instructing customers how to use certain items.
Any one of the products you offer could malfunction, causing an injury to a customer or failing to provide the therapeutic benefit it was designed for. Or you could accidentally supply the wrong product, causing harm to a patient.
In cases like these, you can expect to be responsible for an injured person’s medical expenses. Or worse, you can be sued.
What’s more, any retail establishment can face devastating costs if some type of unexpected event, like a fire, a tornado, or lightning damages the store.
Slips, trips, and falls are common in public places, and your clientele might be even more susceptible to falls or other injuries while in your store. These kinds of incidents can lead to expensive medical bills and lawsuits that have to be paid for the injured party.
Customized medical equipment and supply store insurance can help you cover all of the unique risks you face.
What Does Liability Insurance Cover?
You’ll need several types of business insurance to fully cover your medical equipment and supply store. The first type is liability insurance.
It’s no secret that anyone who shops or has business on your premises can be injured. Many of your customers may already have injuries or problems that make walking difficult.
Some of your customers may be older individuals who use walkers or canes. Aisles that are not clear or a disorganized store can easily lead to a slip, fall, or worse.
In these and many other circumstances, you’d likely be responsible for paying for related medical expenses or repair costs.
Liability insurance pays for injuries or damages to third parties that are caused on your premises or as a result of purchasing something at your store.
If, for example, a customer trips over a set of crutches that has fallen on the floor, your commercial general liability (CGL) policy would pay for any resulting medical bills if the person were injured.
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Product Liability Insurance for Your Medical Equipment Store
If you sell a faulty product that causes harm to a client, you’d likely be named in a lawsuit even though you did not manufacture the product that caused the problem.
Product liability insurance covers a business’s financial responsibility for losses or injuries to a user, buyer, or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of a product. In some instances, product liability insurance may also cover you for defective design and failing to warn a buyer of a particular danger.
Any company that participates in bringing a faulty product to market can be sued. Given that your store sells medical equipment for personal use, you have a significant product liability exposure.
If you are sued for selling a faulty product, the medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damage, attorney fees, and court costs can be insurmountable.
There is some product liability coverage provided in your general liability policy. But sometimes that coverage is not sufficient for the level of risk you face. Ask your independent insurance agent if you need to purchase additional product liability insurance to fully cover the specific risks you face.
What Is Professional Liability Insurance?
You’re expected to have a certain level of knowledge and expertise that makes you qualified to recommend certain products, set them up, and instruct patients how to use them.
What if you recommend a product that ultimately causes harm to a client? Or what if you provide inadequate instructions for a particular product, causing the customer to use it improperly and suffer a negative consequence.
Your medical equipment and supply store could be sued if a customer perceives that you have been negligent or made an error in the advice or services you provide and have consequently caused harm. This could mean providing faulty instructions, recommending inappropriate products, or filling an order with the wrong item.
Professional liability insurance can protect your medical equipment store from claims of professional negligence. It covers professionals, their partners, their employees, and the partnership or corporation for damages caused by providing or failing to provide professional services.
Most professional liability policies cover judgments, settlements, and defense costs. Even if the claims are found to be false, defense costs alone can be financially devastating for companies of all sizes.
There is no standard policy language for professional liability policies, and every type of professional has different types of exposures that need to be considered. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine if you need professional liability insurance and coverage specifics that are necessary to cover your risks.
What Does Property Insurance Cover?
The potential for property damage in your store is endless. Your store can catch fire, damaging everything inside including inventory, furniture, fixtures, computers, and important files. A severe storm can send a tree through your storefront window. Or a lightning strike can zap all of your computers and electronics rendering them useless.
Commercial property insurance is essential for any medical equipment and supply store owner. It protects you from events like fires, burglaries, and natural disasters. It covers the cost of replacing damaged inventory and other physical assets, making repairs to your structure, and more.
Commercial property policies generally include business interruption insurance. This covers lost income and pays for certain ongoing expenses if you must temporarily close your shop while you make repairs after a covered event.
What Other Coverage Do You Need for Your Medical Equipment Store?
Basic property and liability insurance policies do not cover everything. You’ll likely need additional policies or policy endorsements (coverage add-ons) in order to cover all of your risks.
- Commercial umbrella insurance provides excess liability protection to any of several other policies you might have. If a customer injury in your store leads to an expensive lawsuit that exceeds the limits of your commercial general liability policy, your commercial umbrella policy kicks in with higher coverage limits.
- Commercial auto insurance ensures that you’ll be able to pay for any physical damage or injuries you cause if you are in an auto accident while driving for business purposes. If you deliver medical equipment to customers and own a fleet of commercial vehicles, you'll need commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance is customized to cover your specific vehicles and drivers.
- 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 employees could be injured while stocking shelves, opening boxes with a sharp box cutter, and even from repetitive motion at the cash register.
- Sign coverage 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 provides income protection if you are unable to operate due to a covered utility (water, electrical) interruption.
- Employment practices liability insurance covers you if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Crime coverage pays for loss of inventory due to theft of merchandise from shoplifting, and even for loss of money and merchandise stolen by employees.
- Cyber liability insurance is important for any company that uses, transfers, or stores electronic data. If you sell medical equipment online, you’re even more vulnerable to a cyber attack. Cyber liability insurance covers many of the financial repercussions following a cyber breach including direct costs and even costs related to reputational or brand damage.
How Much Does Medical Equipment and Supply Store Insurance Cost?
The cost of medical equipment and supply store insurance depends on several factors. The type of equipment you offer, the value of your inventory, the size of your business, and the number of employees you have will be considered when determining the cost of your business insurance.
The location of your business and the weather and crime risks in your neighborhood also impact your insurance rates.
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.
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Benefits of an Independent Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right medical equipment and supply 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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