Office supply stores and stationery stores can be found all over the United States. In addition to providing office supplies to a number of different businesses, they are also a place where the public can go to purchase school supplies, organizational and project materials, and items for their home offices. If you own this type of business, you will want to be sure to protect your investment with a solid commercial insurance package. An independent agent can help you build an office supply or stationery store insurance policy that can cover your business against a number of potential exposures.
2014 Office Supply Store Industry Facts from IBISWorld
- There are more than 8,600 office supply store businesses operating in the United States.
- These stores employ nearly 90,000 people.
- The office supply retailing industry is responsible for about $17 billion in revenue each year.
Why Does Your Office Supply or Stationery Store Need Coverage?
As with all retail businesses, office supply stores face a number of potential risks that can lead to severe financial losses. A suitable business insurance package can help to mitigate these risks so that you can focus your attention on making and keeping your business profitable. Business insurance protects your business property and protects it from potential lawsuits. Fortunately, office supply and stationery stores are not high-risk retail establishments, so it should be easy for an independent agent to find a number of insurers who would be willing to insure you.
You Need Sufficient Property Damage Coverage
Property insurance for your business covers the building where you house your store, which is necessary if you own the building. You can also purchase contents insurance, which covers the merchandise, inventory, electronics, shelving and other items you keep inside the store. Many office supply stores do a lot of their business through online ordering. If this is the case with your business, you may have a warehouse from which you ship items. If so, you will need to purchase coverage for both the warehouse and the retail space.
There are instances where you may need to purchase supplemental insurance to protect your property. These include, but are not limited to the following:
- Flood Insurance: Commercial insurance policies rarely cover damage caused by flood. For this coverage, you will need commercial flood insurance, which you can purchase through the NFIP.
- Backup of Sewers and Drains Coverage: Not all flood-like damage is caused by flooding. Sewers or drains getting backed up or overflowing can cause water damage in the lower floors of your business. This special rider, which can be purchased as part of most commercial insurance policies, can cover these backups and overflows.
- Earthquake Insurance: If your business is located in an area that has a high risk of earthquake damage, this added coverage may be worth the expense. A major earthquake can mean a total loss for your office supply store, and if you do not have this coverage, your business could go bankrupt.
- Hurricane Insurance: In many parts of the United States, damage caused by heavy winds and rains is covered as part of your standard business insurance policy. For businesses located in high-risk areas along the Eastern Seaboard and in the Gulf States, a separate hurricane insurance policy or rider may be required. Be sure to discuss this coverage with a knowledgeable insurance agent when building your policy package.
- Inland Marine Insurance: This may be necessary to cover merchandise when you transport it from your warehouse to your retail space or when you rent out equipment to customers. Your agent should take the time to understand how your particular business operates and can recommend this coverage if it is necessary.
Protect Your Office Supply Store From Potential Lawsuits
Another important way that commercial insurance can protect your business is through the protection against lawsuits. We live in a litigious society, and people can sue anyone for anything. Even if your business is found not-at-fault, your legal defense fees can be significant. Fortunately, for covered events, your business insurance policy is likely to cover your legal defense fees, court costs and financial damages, if any:
- General Liability Insurance: This coverage is standard with business insurance policies. It protects your office supply store from damage brought about by customer injuries while in your retail space and a host of other potential liability risks. Be sure to discuss your day-to-day operations with your insurance agent, who can help you determine whether additional liability coverage is necessary.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance: This coverage covers the cost of medical treatment needed for employee injuries that are sustained on the job. It is required in most states.
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance: This insurance provides coverage in the event that an employee sues your business for sexual harassment, discrimination or other illegal business practices.
- Employee Dishonesty Insurance: This coverage protects your office supply store in the event that an employee steals from your business or engages in other illegal behavior while at work.
How Else Can Business Insurance Protect Your Office Supply Store?
One of the most important ways a commercial insurance policy can protect your business is through business interruption insurance. If your office supply store is forced to halt service due to damage caused by a covered event, this coverage can provide you with a continuation of income that will enable you to continue paying key staff and maintain your monthly bills and expenses until you can resume normal business operations.
In addition, if you opened your business with a partner or partners, there are a few insurance coverage types, such as key-man life insurance, that may help protect your business interests if one or more partners become too ill to work, pass away, leave the business or are accused crimes.
There may be additional types of insurance that are a good fit for your specific store. Your independent insurance agent can help you realize the risks you face and can help you find appropriate coverage to mitigate those exposures.
Get Help With Your Office Supply and Stationery Store Insurance Policy
Purchasing business insurance for your office supply or stationery store can be a complex process, particularly if you are buying commercial insurance for the first time. This is why it helps to work with an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents can work with a number of different insurance companies to help you find competitively priced insurance that is suitable for your business. Find a Trusted Choice agent near you to learn more so you can start comparing quotes on insurance policies designed specifically for your office supply store.