Emergency preparedness stores are a somewhat new phenomenon. They sell everything and anything that someone might need to survive in an emergency for a few days, and even for a year or more.
Some customers might simply want an emergency kit to keep in their cars or homes. Some people purchase kits to help them live more comfortably during an extended power outage or after a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake.
Other extreme “preppers” shop at these stores in order to prepare to live long-term on the supplies and equipment they’ve collected. Preppers are often concerned with ensuring their survival during a war, famine, or a long-term economic crisis.
Whether you’re selling a vehicle emergency kit for a winter driver or selling thousands of dollars worth of products to a prepper, your job is to protect your business from financial losses.
That’s why you need a comprehensive business insurance program that covers your unique risks and protects you from large losses that could bankrupt you. A local independent insurance agent can help you find the policies that fit your needs and budget.
Why Do I Need Emergency Preparedness Supply Store Insurance?
Like any retail store owner, you face a lot of risks, including:
- Property damage: Your building and everything inside it, including inventory, computers, furniture, fixtures, and office space, can be damaged in a variety of ways. A severe storm can cause widespread damage to the outside and inside of your store. And even a small fire can completely destroy your inventory and force you to close while you make repairs and replace damaged property.
- Theft and crime: Retail establishments are particularly susceptible to theft and crime by outsiders, as well as by employees. You might have a lot of cash or credit card information on hand, making you an easy target for thieves and dishonest employees.
- Customer or general public injury: Your store has a wide variety of visitors every day. Simple slip and fall injuries are common in your environment, and more serious injuries can occur, too. And in the worst-case scenario, you won’t just be responsible for direct medical bills for the injured party. You could be sued and forced to pay for your legal defense as well as financial payouts to the injured person or persons.
- Employee work-related injuries: Whether your employees are unloading shipments and stocking shelves or simply working the cash register, injuries can happen at any time. If an employee sustains a work-related injury or illness, you’ll be responsible for paying for their medical bills and lost wages if they have to take time off from work to recover.
Emergency preparedness supply store insurance can help cover your losses in these and many other situations.
What Does Emergency Preparedness Supply Store Insurance Cover?
Emergency preparedness supply store insurance is a collection of business insurance policies tailored to the unique needs of your operation. You’re likely to need several policies to ensure that you have a comprehensive program that covers all of your risks.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance covers third-party claims of bodily harm and property damage. Because you have a lot of foot traffic in your store, this policy is essential to protect your assets when someone claims they’ve been injured because of your negligence.
A customer’s slip and fall injury would be covered by your CGL policy, as would an injury to a delivery person who slips and falls on a wet floor. CGL policies also cover any claims of advertising liability, slander, or libel.
Commercial property insurance is also essential for your store and warehouse. It covers repairs to the store building or warehouse (if you own it), as well as repairing or replacing any damaged physical assets inside your store.
This includes store fixtures and computer systems, inventory, furniture, signage, and more. If you lease your store space, you need coverage for the contents of your store, but not the physical structure.
Commercial property insurance typically offers protection in cases like fire, theft, vandalism, severe weather, and natural disasters.
Your commercial property insurance will probably also include business interruption coverage. This coverage reimburses you for lost income if you have to close your emergency preparedness supply store to make repairs after a covered loss (fire, storm, etc.). It also pays for certain ongoing expenses, such as rent, employee salaries, utility bills, and more.
Workers’ compensation insurance is typically required for any business that has employees. It pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job. Your workers could be injured while stocking shelves or opening boxes with a sharp box cutter, or due to repetitive motion at the cash register.
Commercial auto insurance is necessary for any business-owned vehicles. It covers your liability if one of your drivers is at fault for an accident.
If you don’t own any commercial vehicles but you or your employees use a personal car for business purposes (running errands, going to the post office, going to the bank,) you need non-owned auto liability insurance to ensure that you are covered if you cause an accident when driving for business purposes.
Crime coverage protects your business if an employee or a group of employees engage in theft, forgery, or fraud that damages your business. It also offers coverage in cases of shoplifting and vandalism.
Why Do You Need Product Liability Insurance?
Emergency preparedness supply stores are unique because of the products that they sell. In any emergency supply store you might find:
- Survival kits for campers or hikers
- Premade emergency kits for tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters
- Backpacks, flashlights, first aid equipment, and tools
- Food storage and food preparation tools and equipment (e.g, freeze dryers)
- Food products, (military MREs, prepared foods, even gluten-free and non-allergenic foods)
- Water storage and water purifiers
- Pet survival supplies
- Tents, shelters, and lighting
Your customers purchase products from you with the reasonable expectation that they will work as promised. And in the case of emergency preparedness supplies, whether something works as promised can mean the difference between life and death.
You might manufacture some of the food products that you sell. And even if you don’t, it’s not only the manufacturer of a product that can be sued if a product is faulty or tainted in some way.
Any company that participates in bringing a faulty product to market can be included in a lawsuit and held liable for damages to the user.
Imagine that a customer who lives in a hurricane zone purchases a 7-day supply of food and water to be used in the event of a utility outage following a hurricane. After a hurricane, the customer expects the food to be fresh and ready to eat.
But what if the food was tainted in some way? Now someone who thought they had made adequate preparations is left with nothing, and may suffer even greater harm without the food they expected to have.
What if a generator that you sold is faulty and causes a fire? Or what if an emergency lighting source dies out long before its expected lifespan?
If any one of your products causes property damage or increases the danger to one of your customers because it doesn’t work properly or it fails altogether, you could be held accountable simply because you sold the product.
You can be sued and required to pay for medical costs, compensatory damages, attorney fees, court costs, and more.
Product liability insurance covers your financial responsibility for losses or injuries to a user, buyer, or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of a product that you sell. Your CGL policy might cover some product liability claims, but that coverage may be limited and insufficient for your needs.
An agent who has experience working companies like yours can help you determine how much and what type of product liability coverage you need.
What Other Coverage Do You Need?
You’re likely to need a variety of additional insurance policies or policy endorsements (add-ons to another policy such as your CGL policy or commercial property policy ) to round out your coverage.
Talk to your independent insurance agent about your need for:
- Environmental liability insurance, or pollution insurance
- Equipment breakdown coverage
- Sign coverage
- Cyber liability insurance (especially if you operate an online store)
- Employment practices liability insurance
How Much Does Emergency Preparedness Store Insurance Cost?
The cost of emergency preparedness store insurance will vary depending on the coverage that you need, as well as your unique risks. Your location, number of employees ,the size of your store, and what you sell play a role in how much it will cost to insure your store.
The more risk exposures you have (more employees, more than one location, more valuable inventory, several business-owned vehicles, etc.), the more you can expect to pay.
Find and Compare Quotes
An independent 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
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right emergency preparedness 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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