Just like its name suggests, a variety store sells a wide range of items. These stores, often known as dollar or discount stores, can have everything from household supplies and electronics to gardening supplies, jewelry, toys, and even food. With such a unique inventory, it’s important for businesses to work with an independent insurance agent to build an insurance package that covers all products and employees.
An independent insurance agent can help you shop and find insurance that fits all aspects of your store. From inventory and property protection to coverage for your employees, a comprehensive insurance package is a must-have for any variety store.
Important Variety Store Statistics
- $87 billion industry in 2019
- 75,398 businesses
- 4% annual growth 2014 to 2019
- 479,582 employees
Why Do I Need Variety Store Insurance?
When you invest in a business, you’re putting your personal finances on the line. Insurance is designed to protect your finances if an unexpected event wipes out your store or leads to a lawsuit. Without insurance, you’re left having to pay for expenses out of pocket.
Some of the main risks you face with a variety store include the following:
- Property damage: Whether or not you own the building where your business is, you own all of the property and inventory inside the building. All of your inventory, furniture, office equipment, fixtures, shelves, and decor could be damaged by a storm or fire.
- Burglary and other crimes: Shoplifting is one of the biggest concerns a retail store faces. A variety store is susceptible to theft whether it’s by a shopper or employee.
- Injuries: Whether a customer slips on a wet spot on the floor or a shopping cart blows into a shopper in the parking lot there are a variety of ways people can get injured every day. If they’re injured on your property or in your store, you’ll be facing a lawsuit.
- Employee injuries: Any injury that an employee incurs while at work or on the job falls under the financial responsibility of you and your business.
Insurance can protect you financially in all of these situations and many more.
What Types of Insurance Does My Variety Store Need?
Your variety store will need a combination of insurance policies that covers all aspects of your business. When you consider things like product delivery, employee responsibilities, inventory, and possible environmental risks, think about the following types of insurance:
Commercial property insurance: The first step in properly insuring your business is protecting the outside of your building and the inventory inside of it. Whether a hail storm destroys your roof, or a fire burns down half of your building, property insurance covers it. The following events are generally covered under property insurance.
- Burst pipes
In addition, property coverage will pay to replace or repair damage to the following items:
- Exterior signs
- Landscaping and fencing
- Computer systems
- Furniture and equipment
Keep in mind that earthquakes and floods are generally not covered under property insurance, so you’ll want to make sure you add this coverage if your business is in an area prone to these natural disasters.
General liability insurance: Next up in line of important coverage is liability insurance. Should anyone, excluding employees, experience bodily injury or property damage on your property or from one of your products, general liability will cover it. Liability insurance is there for situations like:
- A customer walking through your store slips on a leftover wet spot from a mop and rolls their ankle.
- A mom comes to the store with a baby stroller and leaves it at the front of the store while she shops. A fire burns down the store including the baby stroller.
- A customer drops a heavy item on their foot while getting into their car and sues your store.
If a liability claim is made against your store, general liability helps cover:
- Court fees
- Medical expenses
- Third-party property damage
- Administrative costs
Business interruption insurance: This is usually included in your property insurance and it covers lost income should you have to close your doors as a result of a fire, storm, etc. It also pays for certain ongoing expenses such as rent, employee salaries, utility bills, and more.
Liquor liability insurance: Liquor liability coverage is required for any establishment that sells, services, or furnishes alcoholic beverages. It pays for instances of property damage and bodily injury that result from selling or serving alcohol even if the impaired person did not drink the beverage on your premises.
Workers’ compensation: Workers’ compensation is required in most states. If an employee is injured on the job, it covers medical bills and paid time off, as well as reducing the risk of being sued by the injured employee.
Cyber liability insurance: Cyber liability insurance covers any financial loss from fraudulent activity, website hacking, or theft of your customers' personal information, such as credit cards.
Flood and earthquake insurance: Floods and earthquakes are not included in general commercial insurance policies. If your store is located where flooding or heavy rain is a concern, you’ll want to purchase this policy.
Health insurance: If your business has at least 50 full-time employees, you are required to provide them with affordable health insurance. Your insurance agent can help you find suitable coverage.
Employment practices liability insurance: Also known as EPLI, this insurance provides coverage for your legal defense and potential financial damages if one of your employees sues your business for an illegal business practice such as sexual harassment, discrimination, or wrongful termination.
Business owners policy (BOP): When it comes to insurance, there are clearly a lot of options. A business owners policy, or BOP, is a comprehensive insurance option that includes the following policies:
- Property insurance
- Liability insurance
- Business interruption insurance
- Vehicle coverage
- Crime insurance
- And more
You can adjust what is included in your BOP policy, which could result in it being a more effective route than purchasing those insurance policies individually.
How Much Does Variety Store Insurance Cost?
Multiple factors will affect the cost of variety store insurance such as your location, number of employees, the size of your store, and what you sell. If you’re only selling basic items that aren’t very risky, your insurance will be lower. If you sell things like alcohol or gas, this could increase your premium.
Your insurance company will also evaluate how risky you are to insure and how much you should pay based on your hours, how much security you have, and where you are located.
Generally, any store with more risk exposures can expect to pay more than a less risky operation. A store with a limited inventory and no employees will pay far less for business insurance than a store that sells alcohol, has a grill or sells freshly made food, and has several employees.
How to Find the Best Insurance for Your Variety Store
Insurance policies can be complex, and searching through options can be confusing, time-consuming, and frustrating. An independent insurance agent's role is to simplify the process.
An agent will help make a checklist of everything in your variety store that you’ll need coverage for.
When it comes time to purchase insurance, they’ll break down all the jargon and explain the details, so you understand exactly what you're getting.
And should you need to file a claim, you’re not alone. Your agent will be right there to help guide you through every last step and get your life back to where it all was. How great is that?
Benefits of an Independent Insurance Agent
Independent insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies, ultimately finding you the best coverage, accessibility and competitive pricing while working for you. Find an independent insurance agent in your community here.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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