Swimming pool supply stores offer swimming pool and spa equipment and supplies to residential and commercial customers. You might also offer pool chemical delivery, installation of above ground pools, and other convenience services.
If you own a pool supply store, you might sell items such as:
- Pool chemicals including chlorine, bromine, shock, winterizing kits
- Cleaners, pumps, filters, heaters, generators
- Ladders, skimmers, diving boards, slides
- Covers and liners
- Toys and floats
- Above ground pools, spas, parts, accessories
Owning a swimming pool supply store offers you the luxury of running your own business. But you also have the serious responsibility of protecting your livelihood from the unique risks that threaten it.
You need to understand the types of risks that you face and how you can protect your assets and move forward even if things go wrong. A local independent insurance agent can help you find customized business insurance solutions that help you protect your livelihood.
Why Do You Need Swimming Pool Supply Store Store Insurance?
Business insurance tailored to your unique risks can help you recover from simple claims for slips and falls on your premises and even from the complete devastation caused by a fire or a tornado.
What’s more, swimming pool supply store insurance protects you from lawsuits if one of your products harms someone or causes some kind of property damage.
Pool chemicals are one of your greatest sources of risk. Chlorine is utilized to keep swimming pools free from bacteria and other harmful substances so the water is safe for swimming. But if proper procedures are not followed, chlorine can be extremely dangerous.
Chlorine must be stored, handled, and used appropriately. You, your employees, and your customers are exposed to skin irritation and breathing problems and may even be at a higher risk for cancer due to exposure to chlorine and other chemicals. Customers who use chlorine improperly can injure themselves as well as anyone who swims in their pools.
Pool chemicals are also highly flammable, and in the right conditions they can lead to devastating explosions. A single spark could easily destroy your entire business and could even damage neighboring businesses or homes. A fire in your store could send toxic chemicals into the air leading to a much greater catastrophe.
If you want to stay in business after any of these events, you’ve got to have the funds to pay for repairs and for replacing lost inventory, store fixtures, furniture, and supplies.
And if someone is injured on your premises or as a result of using one of your products, you can be assured that a costly lawsuit is not far behind. Your swimming pool supply store insurance is your lifeline to financial recovery when the worst happens.
What Does Swimming Pool Supply Store Insurance Cover?
Your swimming pool supply store should be tailored to the unique risks that you face.
One major risk is physical damage to your building or property caused by unexpected events like fires, lightning, tornadoes, wind, and hail.
You also have a significant liability risk which means that you are 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.
You can purchase several basic insurance policies to cover these risks:
- 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 (your building, if you own it).
If you carry more products in the summer months, be sure to talk to your insurance agent about seasonal fluctuations in the value of your inventory and adjust your property insurance accordingly.
- After a property loss, you’ll likely 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.
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance pays for claims of bodily injury and property damage to third parties due to your negligence. If, for example, a child falls into an aboveground pool display in your showroom and is injured, you can expect to pay for the child’s medical bills at least. If you are sued because of the incident, you’ll have to defend yourself and potentially pay out a financial settlement. A CGL policy protects you in these kinds of circumstances.
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 businesses owners.
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The Importance of Product Liability Coverage for Swimming Pool Supply Stores
Swimming pool supply stores generally sell above ground pools and all kinds of pool-related products and equipment to the general public. The products you sell are used to install, clean, and maintain swimming pools and spas—products that are already inherently dangerous.
If an aboveground swimming pool, a pump, a generator, or an accessory is faulty and leads to an injury or the death of a user or a bystander, your business could be held liable.
What’s more, if you sell pool chemicals that are improperly labeled or are missing appropriate instructions or cautionary statements, you could be sued for negligence if someone becomes ill or is injured by those chemicals.
Product liability insurance covers your financial responsibility for losses or injuries to a user, buyer, or bystander caused by a defect or malfunction of the product.
In some instances, product liability insurance may also cover the manufacturer or seller of the product for defective design and failing to warn a buyer of a particular danger.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that only manufacturers need product liability coverage. Any company that participated in bringing the faulty product to market can be included in a lawsuit and held liable for damages to the user.
The resulting payouts for medical costs, compensatory damages, economic damage, attorney fees, court costs, and even punitive damages can be insurmountable for a small business.
Your CGL policy or BOP might cover some product liability claims, but that coverage may be limited and insufficient for your needs. An independent insurance agent who understands your unique risks can help you make sure you have appropriate product liability insurance.
What Other Coverage Do You Need for Your Swimming Pool Supply Store?
There are numerous other ways in which your swimming pool supply store can sustain property losses or be named in a lawsuit. After you’ve discussed your risks with your independent insurance agent, you’ll be able to determine if you need additional insurance coverage to fill any gaps.
- 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 is injured while working with chemicals, building a display, or while out making a delivery, workers’ compensation insurance pays for related medical costs and compensates the employee for time away from work.
- Environmental liability insurance may be needed if you use and dispose of pool chemicals or other pollutants.
- 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.
- 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.
Coverage for Delivery and Installation Services
If you offer delivery of pool chemicals or installation of aboveground pools, you have a variety of additional risks.
- What if your installer damages a client’s home or personal property?
- What if the delivery person trips over a child’s toy in a customer’s yard while delivering chemicals and is injured?
- What if your tools, equipment, and materials are lost, stolen, or damaged while at a customer’s home or en route to or from a job?
- What if an aboveground pool that you’ve installed collapses, causing damage to the customer’s yard?
In many of these situations you’ll be covered by one of your existing policies such as your general liability policy or your commercial property policy.
If an installer damages a customer’s home or property or is responsible for a client injury, your commercial general liability policy would respond. Your CGL policy would also likely cover you if one of your installed pools collapsed due to poor workmanship or some other design defect or mistake on your part.
If an installer or delivery person were injured while on a jobsite, your workers’ compensation insurance would cover their injuries and reimburse them for any time away from work.
You’ll also need some additional policies or endorsements (coverage add-ons to existing policies) to be sure you have coverage in certain other situations.
If you do deliveries or installations, you probably have at least one if not multiple trucks or work vehicles that you use to transport tools, equipment, and employees to and from installations.
- Commercial auto insurance covers your vehicles and drivers in the event of an accident or other types of vehicle damage.
- Commercial umbrella insurance can cover you for claims that exceed the limits of your other liability policies, including your commercial auto policy.
- Inland marine insurance protects your equipment, tools, portable computer equipment, and other supplies from theft, loss, or damage while they are in transit to and from worksites.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Swimming Pool Supply Stores
Almost every kind of business today is at risk for some type of electronic data theft or cyber breach. And if you run an online store, you have an even greater set of risks.
You can be targeted with fraud or viruses, and you could be the victim of a major cyberattack that exposes the sensitive information of your customers and suppliers causing them to experience financial and reputational harm.
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 financial damage, cyber liability insurance helps to recover money lost and helps to pay for damages caused to your customers.
It also pays for your legal defense and other court costs if you are sued.
How Much Does Swimming Pool Supply Store Insurance Cost?
Insurance for swimming pool supply stores can range from several hundreds of dollars per month to thousands. It depends on:
- the size of your business
- the number of employees
- the types of tools and equipment you own
- the types of chemicals you keep in inventory and the risks they present
- how many trucks and drivers you have
- the value of the inventory and other business property you keep on your premises
- and the types of coverage and amount of coverage that you need
If you are a sole proprietor with no employees, you can expect to pay far less for your business insurance than a multi-store business with several showrooms and multiple employees. If you make deliveries and install aboveground pools, you can expect to pay more for insurance than a retailer who does not offer those services.
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.
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Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Our agents simplify the search process for finding the right swimming pool supply store insurance. They’ll walk you through the handpicked policy options and explain the details.
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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