Private mail centers provide mailbox rental and other postal and mailing services. In addition, they may offer other services such as fax and word processing services, on-site PC rental, and retail sales of office and packaging supplies.
Private mail centers must invest in insurance policies to protect their business assets from the following potential risks:
- Accidents such as trips and falls in the store or parking lot
- Store fixtures causing injury or property damage to customers or other members of the public
- Damage to your inventory, fixtures, computers, copy machines and other business personal property due to some catastrophic or unexpected event (fire, smoke, weather, vandalism, etc.)
- Loss of income due to a catastrophic or unexpected event
- Employee theft of cash or inventory
- Employee lawsuits related to discrimination or other claims
- Theft of customer credit card numbers or another type of cyber breach
- Fire damage to landlord’s property
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Coverage Overview for Private Mail Centers
- Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance is critical for any retailer or business that frequently has members of the general public on the premises. It pays for direct costs related to bodily injury or property damage caused by you or your employees. If you are sued, your CGL policy may also cover your defense costs, court costs, settlements and court-ordered judgments that you must pay.
- Commercial property insurance protects you if a fire, vandalism, smoke, theft or other type of event damages your business property. Even if you lease your space, this coverage is necessary to cover lost inventory, office equipment, computers and all of your other business property.
- Commercial property insurance policies usually include business interruption coverage, or business income coverage, which protects your earnings if your business is unable to operate because of damage caused by some type of disruption (fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown). This coverage is usually quite affordable and is invaluable if you are forced to close your doors for a period of time in order to make repairs. It pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees and more.
You can expand your business income policy to include coverage for breakdowns in utility services (water, electrical) that force you to temporarily close your doors.
- Owners of private mail centers may want to consider a business owners policy (BOP) if they qualify for one. BOPS cover small businesses, with liability, property and business income insurance in one affordable package policy.
What Is Employee Theft and Crime Coverage?
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to crimes such as employee fraud or embezzlement. Even a small cash theft can be difficult to overcome.
Employee theft and crime coverage protects your businesses from the costs of theft, dishonesty and fraudulent acts committed by an individual employee or a group of employees. While it may be difficult for you to imagine, employees all too often steel property, money and securities owned by their employers.
Employee dishonesty coverage can be purchased as a standalone policy or as an endorsement on other business insurance policies. A basic standalone employee theft and crime policy provides coverage for forgery, alteration, theft, unauthorized electronic funds transfers, credit card fraud, computer fraud, money order fraud and counterfeit fraud.
You can also add endorsements for additional coverage.
Other Coverage to Consider for Your Private Mail Center
In addition to the coverage types described above, private mail centers should consider some of the following business insurance policies. Whether or not you need them depends upon your specific business needs:
- Workers’ compensation insurance protects your employees from the costs of work-related illnesses and injuries. It provides coverage for medical expenses and lost income for the injured worker. If you have employees, your state requires you to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.
- Fire damage legal liability coverage may be required coverage if you lease your private mail center space. It protects you (and your landlord) if you are legally obligated by your lease to provide coverage for any fire damage that you cause to your leased space.
- Employment practices liability coverage protects you from lawsuits by prospective, current and former employees for discriminatory employment practices.
- Cyber liability insurance provides coverage in the event of a data breach involving your business. It helps pay for the costs of notifying affected clients as well as the costs for public relations and investigations. Cyber liability insurance is highly customizable and can be tailored to your specific cyber exposures.
Be sure to talk to your insurance agent about how to cover the mailboxes that you rent out to your customers. You may need to purchase additional property coverage called improvements and betterments insurance if you paid to have the mailboxes permanently installed in your leased space.
In addition, your agent can help you determine how to best protect customer mail that is stored at your private mail center. You may need a form of inland marine insurance called bailee’s coverage to insure your customers’ property (their mail) that is in your care, custody or control.
How to Find the Best Insurance for Your Private Mail Center
Your private mail center is unique. To find the best business insurance policies that meet your budget, talk to a local independent insurance agent who can obtain a variety of quotes from reputable insurance companies that specialize in businesses like yours.
Together you can evaluate and choose the combination of coverage and price that will best protect your business assets.
When comparing insurance company proposals, be sure that you are comparing equal coverage. Using an apples-to-apples approach to coverage comparisons is the only way to make sure you are choosing wisely.
Find a local independent agent today to get the coverage you need.