School supply stores typically sell educational supplies including chalkboards, bulletin boards, classroom toys and games, stickers, craft supplies, and even software to teachers and educators, as well as books, paper, writing instruments, and more to parents and students.
Retail stores of any kind face risks like shoplifting and theft, property damage from fires or severe weather, customer trips and falls, and even cyber crime.
A single unexpected event could tie up your finances in building repair costs, inventory replacement costs, and even attorney fees and financial settlements if you’re sued for some reason.
Why Do I Need School Supply Store Insurance?
You need school supply store insurance to help you repair damaged property, replace inventory, and pay for any expenses if someone is injured at your store or as a result of one of your products.
Problems like these can arise at any time, and you need to be prepared for the worst. Something as simple as a wet floor or a falling store fixture can injure someone in your store. You’ll be held responsible for paying for the person’s medical bills, and if you are sued for additional damages, the costs could be insurmountable.
Meanwhile, you’ll always be a target for shoplifters and even employee crime. What’s more, smoke, fire, or severe weather can damage your inventory, your building, and your ability to open your doors while you make repairs or rebuild.
School supply store insurance provides the financial backup you need in these and many other situations.
What Does School Supply Store Insurance Cover?
The biggest threats to your school supply store are property losses and liability claims. You’ll need basic property insurance and liability insurance in order to cover most of the claims you might encounter.
School Supply Store Property Insurance
Property losses at your school supply store can originate in a variety of ways. For example:
- A fire or severe weather could cause complete destruction of your building and all of your physical assets.
- A fire in an adjacent shop could cause smoke or water damage and destroy your inventory, especially your highly flammable and easily water-damaged paper products, cardboard items, and electronics.
- A severe thunderstorm can force a tree through your storefront window.
- A lightning strike could destroy all of your computers and electronic equipment.
- Your computer system or cash registers could go down for several days. You’d lose a significant portion of your revenue while they are inoperable as well as incur repair costs.
When these kinds of events happen, you can also face loss of income if the damage renders you unable to operate or meet sales goals for a period of time while you make repairs, rebuild your store, or replace lost inventory.
Commercial property insurance is your lifeline in these situations. It 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, furnishings, equipment (whether leased or owned), display shelves, and more if they are damaged by a covered event such as fire, storm, lightning, theft, etc.
You also need business interruption insurance to complement your property coverage. Imagine you have a period of business interruption due to a covered loss such as a fire in the stockroom that causes enough damage to force you to close while you make repairs. You might never recover the lost sales and your future could be in jeopardy without this important coverage.
You can purchase additional types of property and business interruption insurance for certain specific situations. These include:
- Utility interruption coverage: Reimburses you for costs related to breakdowns in utility services (water, electrical) that force you to temporarily close your doors.
- Equipment breakdown coverage: Helps you repair or replace damaged equipment such as computers or cash registers that are essential to keeping your store open.
School Supply Store Liability Insurance
A school supply store might need liability insurance for several basic risk exposures:
- Premises liability: A customer or vendor is injured in your store (e.g., a child falls out of a shopping cart seat that has no child safety belt).
- Products liability: A customer, user, or bystander is injured because of one of your products (e.g., a seemingly safe educational toy contains an undisclosed choking hazard and a child dies as a result).
If someone is injured in your store or as a result of your business operations, chances are you’ll be held liable for paying for any medical expenses for the injured party.
And if someone’s personal property is damaged because of your business (e.g., an employee dents a car while collecting shopping carts in the parking lot), you’ll likely have to pay for the repairs.
Paying for direct expenses is costly enough. Unfortunately, many of these types of incidents lead to lawsuits. If you’re sued for additional damages, the costs can be insurmountable for a small business.
That’s where your commercial general liability (CGL) insurance comes in. It offers broad coverage for all kinds of liability claims from trip and fall incidents to advertising liability, slander, and libel cases. It pays for damages to the injured party as well as your legal expenses and settlements or judgments if you are sued.
CGL insurance also covers product liability in certain cases. It’s important to talk to your independent insurance agent about whether you need additional product liability protection beyond what is offered in your CGL policy.
Additional School Supply Store Insurance
You’ll likely 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 standalone policies as needed to fill all of the gaps.
- Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides an important safety net for cases 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: Required for almost every business that has employees. It compensates employees who are injured on the job by paying for medical expenses and lost wages related to their injury. Your employees can trip over boxes of new inventory, fall off a ladder when dusting shelves or fixtures, and even sustain repetitive motion injuries from using the cash register. This coverage ensures their expenses will be covered in these cases, and prevents them from suing you for additional damages.
- Crime coverage: Protects your business from crimes that can be committed in your school supply store, including vandalism, shoplifting, and employee theft or embezzlement. This coverage is important for most retail establishments.
- 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.
- Employment practices liability insurance: Covers you if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices.
The Importance of Cyber Liability Insurance for Online School Supply Stores
If you have an e-commerce website in addition to your physical school supply store, a lot can go wrong. Unlike when a shoplifter steals from your store, a cyber breach might go unnoticed with the damage spreading far and wide before you even have a chance to take action.
Your customers’ or suppliers’ sensitive information can be stolen and disseminated worldwide, wreaking havoc on their personal finances or their ability to do business.
Cyber breaches can ruin credit ratings, empty bank accounts, and destroy reputations for both companies and individuals alike, When your online store or computer systems were the source of the breach, you’ll have a lot of people to answer to.
Cyber liability insurance protects you from the costs related to certain cyber crimes and accidental data breaches. If someone hacks into your website, steals personal financial data from you or your customers, takes fraudulent payments, or causes a business outage or loss for a vendor or business partner, cyber liability insurance helps to cover financial and reputational damage for anyone who was impacted.
What’s more, cyber liability insurance typically covers your own defense costs as well as any settlements or judgments that you must pay if you are sued because of a cyber breach. Cyber liability insurance also covers public relations and other related expenses that you incur in order to salvage your reputation.
How Much Does School Supply Store Insurance Cost?
Your school supply store insurance premiums depend on a variety of factors, such as:
- Your location
- Your deductibles
- Number of employees
- Coverage limits
On average, school supply store insurance costs about $350 to $600 per year for liability coverage alone. But your costs will likely be higher or lower than average depending on the unique characteristics of your business.
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
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right school supply store insurance. They’ll walk you through the 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 omit 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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