Comic book stores are unique establishments that cater mainly to casual buyers, serious enthusiasts, and collectors. They sell new and vintage comics, graphic novels and other books, apparel, and novelty items. Many comic book stores have hundreds of thousands of comics on hand and in stock at any given time, some of which are highly valuable (some rare vintage comics have sold for over $1 million!).
If you own a comic book store, you need well-planned and comprehensive business insurance coverage to protect everything that matters, including your building, your inventory and collections, and everyone who walks through your doors.
Comic book store insurance is not just one policy. It is a complex and comprehensive set of policies tailored to the needs of your shop. With the help of an independent insurance agent, you can find insurance companies that specialize in hard-to-place risks, so you can be sure your inventory and your livelihood remain intact.
Why Do You Need Comic Book Store Insurance?
Comic book stores sell mainly comic books and related items, including new comics and rare, valuable collectibles. Many have a huge inventory of comics, and purchasing comics from other collectors or selling items on consignment is not uncommon.
You may occasionally take some of your collectibles to sell at festivals, booths, or special shows or conventions like the annual Comic-Con convention. What’s more, you may store and sell items that are on consignment from private owners.
The risks to your inventory are immense, and with varying ownership arrangements and items on the move, your insurance program must be carefully designed. At any time, your building and inventory can be damaged by fire, theft, or vandalism. With an inventory that is highly flammable and easily damaged by smoke or water, there is no such thing as a “small fire.” And your comics can encounter any number of problems while in transit. All of your inventory must be protected on your premises, while in transit, and while being displayed or stored off-site.
What’s more, you need to protect your building and all of its other contents, your customers, and your employees from mishaps, injuries, and property damage that can occur during the normal course of operating your comic book store.
Special Coverage for Your Comic Book Inventory
Comic book stores need insurance to protect their inventory, other physical assets (fixtures, furniture, computers, etc.), and customers in a variety of situations. Here are just a few of the scenarios that you should consider when thinking about insurance for your comic book inventory. Do you need coverage for any or all of the following?
- Comics and other items on display in your shop
- Comics and other items held in off-site storage or at your home
- Comics and other items traveling to off-site shows, while at the show and while in transit
- Comics and other items that are being mailed or shipped to customers
- Comics and other items owned by others being shown on your sales floor or at a show, or being sold on consignment
- Vintage, rare, or highly valuable items
You need tailored coverage for your comic books, whatever their value and wherever they may be. An independent insurance agent can help you find a carrier that specializes in the type of collections that you have, and the types of scenarios that you work in.
Talk to your insurance agent about “all risk” coverage that protects your unique comic book inventory and collections from a variety of perils (not just certain “named perils”). This means you’d be covered for any damage that occured, regardless of cause, unless specifically excluded from your policy.
It is also essential to consider “wall-to-wall” coverage that protects your comics (including items on loan from others) while they are in transit or being displayed or stored off-site. Your items need coverage while they are in the possession of freight forwarders, auction houses, storage facilities, or anywhere else they may be moved to or stored. Items in transit must be protected whether they are on a truck, plane, boat or any other form of transportation traveling to anywhere in the world.
Your comic book store insurance should include coverage for any non-owned or partially owned items that are in your care, custody and control, but are on loan from another shop or private collection, or that you have agreed to insure.
Traditional Property and Liability Insurance for Comic Book Stores
You need a variety of more traditional business insurance policies to complete your comic book store coverage. These policies protect your physical shop structure (if you own it) and its contents (fixtures, furniture, computers, etc., in addition to your inventory).
You also need to protect yourself from lawsuits that result from employees, vendors, customers, and any members of the general public visiting your store or otherwise engaging with your business.
- Commercial property insurance helps you rebuild or make repairs when an unexpected event—like a fire, a flood, hail, lightning, or a tornado—destroys your merchandise and your physical space (structure). It helps you replace, rebuild, or repair computers, cash registers, inventory, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and more after a covered event.
- Business interruption insurance reimburses you if you sustain a substantial loss of revenue or you must close your doors temporarily after some type of covered loss. If a windstorm blows down part of your roof and you must close for repairs, this coverage pays for lost income, salaries, and other expenses during that time. It may also help to pay for relocation expenses if you must set up a temporary space.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance offers financial protection if a person is injured on your premises or if someone (vendor, delivery person, customer) sustains some type of property damage as a result of your operations. If a heavy shelf fell on a customer and caused an injury, this policy would cover the medical bills or other expenses related to the accident. And it would pay for your legal expenses and any financial payouts if you were sued for additional damages.
In addition to business property and liability insurance for your comic book store, you are likely to need a variety of additional stand-alone policies or policy endorsements. Talk with your independent insurance agent to determine if you need:
- Valuable papers coverage: Pays to reproduce valuable papers, such as financial documents, ownership records, and authenticity documentation for your vintage, valuable, or rare inventory.
- Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides excess liability protection beyond the limits of several other policies you might have, including commercial general liability or employers liability.
- Employers liability insurance: Covers you if a current or former employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
- Workers’ compensation insurance: Pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job.
- Crime coverage: Protects your business from the costs of theft, dishonesty, and fraudulent acts committed by an individual employee or a group of employees, as well as theft or vandalism by customers or other visitors.
The Importance of Cyber Liability Insurance for Comic Book Stores
Do you sell comics or other items online in addition to your brick-and-mortar store?
If your IT security systems, antivirus software, or other online privacy efforts fail to stop a hacker who then steals company data or confidential customer or employee information, you need financial protection.
Cyber liability insurance covers your financial losses as well as third-party (customers, suppliers) damages that are caused by a cybercrime. It also typically covers your defense costs, settlements, and judgments if you are sued as a result of a cyber incident.
You can add cyber liability coverage to a business owners policy or a commercial general liability policy, or you can purchase stand-alone coverage. Your independent insurance agent can help you determine what type of coverage is best for your business.
How Much Does Comic Book Store Insurance Cost?
The cost of comic book store insurance will vary widely depending on the size and location of your shop, and most importantly, the value of your vast comic book inventory. What’s more, your insurance costs will be impacted if you sell your comics only in your store, or if you move items to sell at special shows, exhibits, or conventions.
Business insurance costs also vary depending on the number of employees that you have, the weather and crime risks in your city, and the amount of coverage that you need to fully cover your risks.
Talk to an experienced independent insurance agent who can uncover all of your risks and find the policy options that specifically address them.
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 Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents simplify the search process for finding the right comic book 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.