Women's clothing store insurance

How to Insure Your Women's Clothing Store

Dresses hanging in a clothing store

Owning your own women’s clothing store or boutique is a dream come true. You’ve invested a lifetime of hard work and money into your store, taking every possibility into account.

That means understanding that owning your business can leave you vulnerable to some unexpected—and costly—events. Why leave anything to chance? Would you be able to recover if a storm, a fire, theft, or a lawsuit impacted your store? 

You need tailored business insurance designed for stores like yours. A local independent insurance agent can help you find a comprehensive set of business insurance policies that fit your needs and budget.

Why Do You Need Women’s Clothing Store Insurance? 

Your women’s clothing boutique is susceptible to a number of costly problems. You’re a target for shoplifters, and what’s more, dishonest employees can steal merchandise or cash right out from under your nose. 

Anyone can get injured on your premises or as a result of purchasing one of your products. 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. 

You need women’s clothing store insurance to help you recover when things go wrong. 

What Does Property Insurance Cover? 

Property losses are one of the biggest threats to any store or boutique. 

  • Your clothing inventory is highly flammable. A fire in your store could cause a total loss. 
  • Your inventory can also be destroyed by smoke or water. A fire in an adjacent store or a small fire in your stockroom could cause smoke or water damage that destroys all of your in-stock merchandise. 
  • Severe weather like a tornado can level a building. Even a severe thunderstorm can force a tree through your storefront window or cause a lightning strike that destroys all of your electronic equipment. 

Commercial property insurance 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 clothing stores typically carry more product 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 of your business property, and understand the best way to cover it and manage and amend your coverage limits depending on seasonal inventory fluctuations.

What Is Business Interruption Insurance? 

When your business sustains property damage, 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. 

Business interruption insurance complements your commercial property coverage. Imagine you have a period of business interruption due to a covered loss (e.g., a fire forces you to close to make repairs and replace your inventory). 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). This coverage is usually quite affordable and pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more. 

What Does Liability Insurance Cover? 

Trip-and-fall injuries are common in retail settings. If someone is injured in your store or as a result of your business operations, chances are you’ll be responsible for paying for any medical expenses for the injured party. If you are sued for additional damages, you’ll be on the hook for attorney fees, court costs, and possibly a six- or seven-figure financial settlement or court-ordered judgment against you.

That’s why commercial general liability insurance is so important for a women’s clothing store. It pays for direct expenses for an injured party as well as your legal expenses and financial payouts if you are sued. 

Additional Women’s Clothing Store Insurance 

You’ll probably 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 responds 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 is exhausted. 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance is required for almost every business that has employees. It pays for medical expenses and lost wages for employee who are injured on the job. 
  • Crime coverage protects your business from any number of crimes that could be committed in your women's clothing boutique. This includes vandalism, shoplifting, and employee theft or embezzlement.
  • 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.
  • 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 pay for damages caused to your customers.

What about Insurance for Home-Based Women’s Clothing Boutiques? 

Home-based women’s clothing boutiques are very popular with both customers and professionals looking for a flexible, home-based career. Companies like cabi and LuLaRoe offer people an opportunity to manage their own business in their own homes, on their own time, with the support and resources of a larger corporation.

If you are a home-based fashion retailer, you might sell clothing at parties in other people’s homes, parties in your own home, online, or at pop-up locations (special events, churches, fundraisers, festivals, etc.).

Home-based retailing may seem safe from many of the risks associated with other small businesses, but in fact many risks are present in and around your home and in other people’s homes. Some potential areas of concern include: 

  • A delivery person or customer comes to your home for business purposes and slips and falls on the stoop.
  • Your sample inventory is destroyed or damaged due to a fire, a storm, or a burglary in your home.
  • You cause an injury or damage property in someone else’s home when you are there for business purposes (e.g., at a home party).
  • Someone steals some of your inventory from a home party or a pop-up location.
  • A guest who was drinking wine at a sales party in your home gets into a car accident on her way home after the party.

You need protection for property losses and lawsuits that may result after these kinds of incidents. Most homeowners insurance policies provide minimal coverage for business equipment in your home, but most will exclude coverage for businesses operating within the home. You will have little to no coverage for lost data, lost income, or liability claims relating to your in-home business. 

If you operate a business from your home, do business inside and outside your home, or visit clients in their homes, you may need additional coverage. You can get additional coverage for your in-home business in several ways. The type of insurance you need depends on the type of business you have, and whether you keep inventory, have employees, conduct on-site meetings, or receive deliveries.

Talk to an independent insurance agent about the best way to cover your at-home business risks. Your agent might suggest one of the following:

  • An endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy that provides more coverage for your home-based business.
  • A special in-home business policy that has some features of policies designed for larger businesses, but with much lower policy limits. 
  • A business owners policy (BOP) that bundles several types of coverage into one policy at an affordable price.

What about Insurance for Pop-Up Women’s Clothing Boutiques?

Pop-up stores are a growing retail phenomenon. Whether you open a pop-up boutique in a brick-and-mortar location for a few months or take your inventory to sell at a festival or another special event, you need to make sure that you have the same insurance coverage in your temporary location as you do in your permanent location. 

If you rent a space temporarily, your landlord is likely to require you to have sufficient property and liability coverage in order to sign the lease. With the retail landscape changing, it is possible to find insurance companies that allow you to purchase pop-up insurance on a month-to-month basis, rather than committing to a full policy year. 

If you run a home-based business, be sure to talk to your independent insurance agent about where your coverage follows you, so you can be sure you’re covered in all circumstances. 

How Much Does Women’s Clothing Store Insurance Cost? 

Women’s clothing store insurance costs will differ from store to store. 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, the value of your inventory, whether you own your building, and many more variables. 

The amount of coverage you need and the deductibles you choose 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. 

Benefits of an Independent Agent

Independent insurance agents simplify the search process for finding the right women’s clothing store insurance. They’ll walk you through some 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 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 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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