Piece goods stores sell fabrics and textiles from the bolt in standard widths and lengths, such as for bedsheets, canvases, carpets, handkerchiefs, pillowcases, shower curtains, and tablecloths.
Even a simple, single-location piece goods store can face serious risks that can send your dreams and your business up in smoke. Whether a customer trips and falls in your store or a fire destroys your entire inventory, you need business insurance to ensure you’re protected from the many risk exposures that you face every day.
Why Do You Need Piece Goods Store Insurance?
Your piece goods store is exposed to a variety of unique risks that must be addressed with tailored business insurance policies.
One of your biggest risks is property damage. Your entire livelihood revolves around highly flammable inventory. It might only take a single spark to quickly engulf your store and destroy your business. Even a small fire would be devastating. Smoke and water are equally damaging to fabrics and would likely result in a total loss.
And no matter where you are located or what you sell, a severe weather event, a burglary, or vandalism can diminish or entirely destroy your inventory, leaving you no option but to pay to replenish it if you want to stay in business.
What’s more, you’re always at risk for someone getting hurt while shopping in your shop. Injuries can lead to lawsuits, and if you’re sued, simply defending yourself could leave you bankrupt.
It’s pretty simple: A quality business insurance program designed for your unique piece goods store helps you mitigate your risks and protect your assets when you experience a covered loss.
What Does Piece Goods Store Property Insurance Cover?
Piece goods store insurance should be tailored to the unique risks faced by your business.
First, consider the damage to your building or business property that could be caused by unexpected events like fires, lightning, tornadoes, wind, and hail.
Commercial property insurance covers your building and its contents, including computers and cash registers, inventory, equipment, furniture, fixtures, and more. It helps you rebuild or make repairs when unexpected events—like a fire or severe weather—destroy your merchandise and your physical space (structure).
After a property loss, you’ll probably need some time to replace your inventory and fixtures and rebuild your store. Business interruption coverage compensates you for lost business income and pays for certain operating expenses if you must temporarily close after a covered loss.
What Does Piece Goods Store Liability Insurance Cover?
You’re responsible for compensating any customer or member of the public who gets injured on your property or as a result of buying something from you. That’s where liability insurance comes in.
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance pays for claims of bodily injury and property damage to third parties due to your negligence. If your outdoor awning is improperly secured and falls on a passerby, you’ll be responsible for paying for the injured party’s medical expenses. What’s more, if the person sues you, you’ll have to defend yourself and potentially pay out a financial settlement. A CGL policy protects you in these kinds of circumstances.
Your liability insurance also protects you from claims of slander, libel, or advertising liability. This can include allegations of making false statements, defamation of character, copyright violations, and unauthorized use of materials.
If an employee posts a false statement about a competitor on your Facebook page and causes reputational harm for that business, you could be sued. Your CGL policy would respond to this type of claim and pay for your legal defense and any financial payouts you’re required to make.
How to Avoid Gaps in Your Piece Goods Store Insurance Coverage
Most piece goods stores will need more coverage than what is included in basic property and liability policies. Your independent insurance agent can help you decide what types of coverage you need to avoid any gaps in your protection.
First, if you operate a single store or even several stores, you may be able to bundle your basic property and liability coverage together into a packaged policy (business owners policy, or BOP) designed for small business owners.
You might also want to consider a variety of endorsements (coverage add-ons) to your basic property and liability policies, or you might need some additional stand-alone policies that provide the following types of coverage:
- 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.
- 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. If an employee strains their back while lifting a heavy bolt of fabric, workers’ compensation insurance pays for related medical costs and compensates the employee for time away from work.
- Crime coverage protects your business if an employee or a group of employees engages in theft, forgery, or fraud that damages your business. It also offers coverage in cases of shoplifting and vandalism.
- 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.
- Cyber liability insurance is important for any business that uses, transmits, or stores electronic data. It pays for any costs related to a cyber breach as well as any related legal costs if a customer or supplier who was harmed by the breach sues you.
How Much Does Piece Goods Store Insurance Cost?
Insurance costs are hard to predict for any business, because every business is unique.
Your costs will depend on the type of coverage you need, the coverage limits you require to adequately protect your commercial property, and the liability risks that you face.
Insurance companies that specialize in businesses like yours will evaluate your unique characteristics, including:
- The location of your store
- The amount and value of your inventory
- Whether you own your building
- The number of employees
- The crime and weather risks in your area
These factors will determine your cost for coverage.
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 piece goods 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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